Feeling Lucky? Last chance to enter Jan 1st Inspiration-themed random drawing!

Kick off the New Year with some creative inspiration!

If it is still 2014 (EST), there is still time to enter this January 1st random drawing for artsy goodies! One Lucky winner takes home 3 imagination-inducing prizes, including a copy of Leslie Riley's new book Inspirational Quotes Illustrated! Over 100 artists illustrated more than 130 quotes for this colorful compendium. (I am thrilled to be one of them). Click here for more info on this fun book and a peek at my contributions. 

The winner also will receive a $10 Gift Card to Michaels Craft stores. Click here for store locations or the online shop.

And to top off the package... cute wire words to encourage your imagination in 2015!

Why not start the year with a brilliant boost of inspiration?! If you comment on this post before the ball drops on 2014 there is still time to enter! Actually, you have until 1 a.m. EST on 1/1/15. I had to leave you time for those midnight kisses. 

All who have commented on the blog since Nov.28th will be entered into this random drawing. However, I've been partying instead of promoting since then, so comments are light (making some pretty good odds). The winner will be announced tomorrow. 

Best wishes to all for a wonderful end to 2014. Have fun! Be Safe! See you next year!


Enter to win Inspirational Quotes Illustrated book + $10 craft store gift card- Ends Jan.1

Ooh - I have some exciting news! A couple of weeks ago I found these beauties in my mailbox! Inspirational Quotes Illustrated  features "more than 100 artists and 130 quotes" is edited by Lesley Riley and published by Northern Light Books. 

I feel fortunate to have two pieces in this wonder-filled book. It is great fun to share pages with some of my favorite contemporary artists, including Seth Apter and Pam Carriker (featured here back in 2009).  

This colorful compendium is available in paperback (as well as for Kindle) through Amazon. Feeling lucky? Enter to win a free copy! Leave a comment on my blog before 1 a.m. (EST) on January 1st to be entered in a New Year's Day random drawing. The winner will also receive a $10 gift card to Michaels Craft Stores. Click here to find a Michaels near you. You can also use the card in their online shop.

As mentioned in my last blogpost, folks who entered the gift card drawing on 12/11 will be automatically entered in this new random drawing. Everybody else.... get scribbling! Any ole comment will do - just be sure to include your email address if it is not already in your profile. 

On the aside, the family has decided to unplug this week. As a result, this giveaway will not be getting much promotion. (Chances are this will make your odds even better.). I will pop back around the 27th or 28th to add a little something extra to sweeten the prize, so be sure to check back and check out the additional goodies.

Until then - Merry Christmas to those who celebrate! And Happy Holidays to all! Best wishes for a creative week!!


Thursday Giveaway: Winner of Michaels Crafts giftcard

Woo Hoo! We have a winner! 

With help from random.org, today's winner of the $10 Michaels Craft Store gift card is....

Cathy Kennedy from CuriousAsACathy.com

Congratulations, Cathy! I will contact you with instructions for claiming your prize.

Many thanks to all of the crafty folks who entered this random drawing. While you didn't win today....

Guess what?! You are still in luck! 

I am about to announce a new giveaway for one more $10 Michael's Gift Card.... And you will all be automatically entered in this new random drawing happening on January 1st! I will also be adding a few more prizes to the January 1st drawing, so be sure to pop back over the next couple of weeks to check those out as well.


Monday Music - Christmas....Star Trek Style

I'm a bit late to the MM party today. Sharing a little holiday spirit for the Trekkies - tho' it has been around a while & they have probably enjoyed before. (Of course if a true Trekkie they will enjoy it again.) 


For a more traditional Christmassy tunes pop over to XmasDolly's & check out her Musical Monday blog hop. There is always something fun playing over on Dolly's jukebox.


By the way, if it is not yet 12/11, any comment left enters the writer in a random drawing for a $10 gift card to Michaels Craft Stores. And who doesn't need some last minute holiday cheer or extra glitter? For details, click here.


Illustration Friday - Light

Veiled Dreamer ATC
Sharing an old art trading card for today's Illustration Friday prompt, Light. This 2.5" x 3.5" doodle was made with ink, markers & watercolor. She's from a 2009 series of ATC scribbles, Fever Dreams.

Do you feel inspired by this challenge? If so, share your take on Light and link up over at IllustrationFriday.com

By the way, if you are visiting before 12/11/14 be sure to leave a comment here. You will be entered into my latest random drawing for a $10 Michaels craft stores gift card. On Dec. 11 one winner will be selected from all who left blog commented since 11/28. Click here for additional info.


Musical Monday - Dropkick Murphys "The Season's Upon Us"

Hop aboard the Monday Music train! Our conductor, Xmas Dolly is suggesting "Christmas songs and/or anything pertaining to Christmas." I'm not quite ready for a bajillion hours of Frosty and Rudolf  just yet, so the Dropkick Murphys are my ticket to ride today.


All aboard! Share your holiday tunes and link up over at Xmas Dolly's latest blog hop.  While you are there, check out what everyone else is listening to while they are cyber-shopping. 


By the way, if you haven't entered the new Thursday Giveaway yet be sure to comment here. Everyone who leaves a note on my blog before 12/11 will be entered in a random drawing for one $10 gift card to Michael's Craft Stores.  Click here for details.


Enter to win $10 Michaels Gift Card - ends 12/11

Feeling crafty?

With December almost upon us, it is time to get your holiday crafting on! I have heard that there are folks who finished all of their projects months ago, but I am so not one of them. If you are anything like me, there are still lots of tasks to do and supplies to buy.  Well... if you are the winner of this Michaels Craft Stores gift card, there will be $10 more in your wallet to help fund those projects. 

Not into handmade? You can find ornaments, toys, retro candies and other goodies at Michaels too.  Click here to find a store near you. You can also shop online at Michaels.com.

On Dec. 11 one random winner will be selected to take home this $10 gift card. To enter this drawing, simple leave a comment on my blog before 1 a.m. (EST) on 12/11/14. It is that easy - no jumping though hoops here. Just remember to leave an email address if there is no contact info on your profile. I need to be able to contact you if you win! Prize ships free to winner... and just in time for some last minute craft store shopping.


Tutorial Tuesday - free Thanksgiving / dinner table printables

Behold Blessings Printable
Free Printable from Snazzy Little Things

Loads of fab free printables today! 

I'm super into the whole chalkboard vibe lately. Wouldn't these look great on this year's dinner invitations, placemats or decorative banners? Simply click the links below each image for downloading/printing instructions.

4 free Chalkboard Thanksgiving Printables to decorate simple and quick for the holidays! via Uncommon Designs
4 Chalkboard Thanksgiving Printables from Uncommon Designs Online

Have a favorite phrase but need some help bringing your vision to life? Here are a few free fonts to play with.

Favorite Pretty Free Fonts from Peter Loves Jane

And how fun would it be to  print your own "fancy" paper napkins? This DIY is crazy easy.

printed napkins DIY - great for Thanksgiving or other family gathering
A Subtle Revelry's How To Print On Paper Napkins

I wish I had a long hipster farmer table so I could feature a repeated print of this vintage silverware pic on a table runner!

Vintage kitchen clip art from Graphics Fairy

On a fun final note, when I first saw this lego download I had visions of kiddie-table placemats. Now I'm thinking even the grumpy grownups might like doodling on this guy. Scatter some crayons on the table and you might even catch cranky Uncle Joe coloring between courses. 

Blank Lego Person.  Oh the possibilities...
Lego minifig drawing template


We have a winner of Barbara Lewis's Craftsy Class!

photo via craftsy.com

Woo Hoo! It is finally the day to pick the lucky winner of Barbara Lewis's online workshop: Torch Fired Enameling, the immersion method! I decided to do some old-school randomizing today. Each commenter was assigned a number and random.org picked the winner:

#33 is Sherrie Brittig - Congratulations! 
Sherrie, I will email you with instructions for claiming your prize!

Many thanks to everyone who entered this random drawing! It is always encouraging to prize sponsors to read all of your comments and see that folks really are interesting in what they have to offer. Also, it is your interest that keeps the giveaways coming. Be sure to pop back here next Thursday for a new prize announcement. 

I also want to squeeze in another big thank you to Barbara Lewis, for sponsoring this fantastic random drawing! I hope your Craftsy.com class is a huge success and that you share many more! 

Want to know more about this talented artisan and her books, workshops and creations? Visit any of the following links for more information:

Painting With Fire Artwear blog
Painting With Fire Facebook Page
Barbara Lewis on Etsy
Barbara Lewis books on Amazon

Barabara's Enamel Jewelry class on Craftsy
Craftsy.com - all classes


Illustration Friday - Theatre


Hey there! How have you been? It has been a whirlwind week here - lots of fun, lots of work. No time to doodle today, so I'm revisiting an old watercolor for today's Illustration Friday prompt: Theatre.

I really need to get back to working with watercolors one of these days; they are great fun to play with!  So what do you think, is she sneaking off the scene or getting ready for her grand entrance? Or simple taking just-a-little-peek behind the curtain?

Does  the "Theatre" challenge inspire you to doodle up some drama? If so, post your creation online and share a link over at IllustrationFriday.com. Everyone is invited to play along! Even if your not participating, pop on over and see what folks are sharing this week. 

By The Way:

There is still a bit of time to get in on my Craftsy Class giveaway! On 11/16 one very lucky winner will receive a code to access Barbara Lewis' online workshop Torch Fired Enameled Jewelry! Everyone who leaves a comment on my blog before 1 a.m. (EST) on Sunday Nov. 16th will be entered in this random drawing. For details on the workshop and random drawing, click here.


Craftsy Workshop Giveaway - enter to win Barbara Lewis's Torch Fired Enamel Jewelry online classes - Ends 11/16

photo via Craftsy

Making enamel jewelry has been on my to-learn list for ages. A couple of years ago I picked up a paperback copy of  Torchfired Enamel Jewelry: A Workshop In Painting With Fire by Barbara Lewis. While I've enjoyed looking through it, I tend to get a bit intimidated by new techniques and have yet to give it a go. I find it easier to approach something new through either live lessons or video workshops. Lucky for me Craftsy.com recently added a Barbara Lewis video workshop to their stable of fantastic classes!

If you've been around here a while, you already know how much I love Craftsy. They offer a variety of creative classes in everything from jewelry making, fine arts and quilting, to cooking and woodworking.... and lots in between. All workshops are all in an easy to follow video format, with hours of information. You also get a supplies list, access to virtual classroom where you can ask questions of the instructor, and a money back guarantee! Once you purchase a Craftsy class it stays in your "library" forever, allowing you to access it on your schedule. By the way, this is NOT an affiliate post; I am not receiving compensation. I just love Craftsy and am super excited to share this new workshop with Artsnark readers!

photo via Craftsy

For a limited time Barbara's 7 video workshop, Torch Fired Enameling, The Immersion Method is available for $14.99. Click here to check it out. Normally it costs $29.95. And if you are the lucky winner of my upcoming random drawing, you can get it for free!

Yep, I just said "Free"

To enter this awesome drawing: Simply leave a comment on my blog before 1 a.m. (EST) on 11/16/14. That is it - easy peasy! Please feel free to share this great opportunity with your friends. However, I'm not going to make you jump through any social marketing hoops to get your name in the hat. (Just make sure your contact info is somewhere in your profile. If it is not, add an email address to your comment so that I reach you if you win.) The lucky winner will be announced on the blog Sunday Nov. 16th.

So, I had a fun "small world" moment the other day. I bought this workshop, since I recognized Barbara's name from my book and knew it would be good. But I did not realize that her business, Painting With Fire Studio, is just across the bay in St. Petersburg, Florida! And we both have online Etsy shops! Hers is BarbaraLewis.Etsy.com. We are both on the Tampa Bay Etsy Crew, and I think I've seen her name pop up in the chats, but I never put two and two together until this week. 

Image via Barbara Lewis

After reading Barbara's blog post about her new Craftsy class (see excerpt below), I sent her a message about sharing the post with you fabulous folks... and that is how this new Thursday Giveaway prize came about! So, many thank yous to Barbara, for sharing her expertise and this fun opportunity for one fortunate crafter! And thank yous and hugs in advance to all who enter; your interest in these random drawings is what keeps them coming. 

Here is a snippet from Barbara's Oct 31st blog post about her new Craftsy enamel jewelry class:

Lesson 1: 
We're going to start with learning all about the different types of enamels (transparent and opaques, 6/20 enamels, threads, etc.), the types of metal you can use, including how to shop for brass, the setting up of your workstation, assembling the torch & safety tips, lighting and using your torch. 

photo via Craftsy

Lesson 2:
I'll introduce you to enameling iron beads,  how to troubleshoot your results, how to blend transparent enamels to create new and exciting colors, how to create a tri-colored bead. 

photo via Craftsy

Lesson 3:
We'll work with steel wire to create a gorgeous link: form it, how to fire a larger piece, and the importance of flame annealing.

photo via Craftsy

Now - this is just a peek at the first three lessons. There are 7 in all, so click here to read the rest of Barbara's post: "So, what's in the Craftsy class, you ask?" For more info on Barbara Lewis and Craftsy follow any of the links below... Just remember to leave a comment before you go to enter the drawing!

Painting With Fire Studio
Painting With Fire Artwear blog
Painting With Fire Facebook Page
Barbara Lewis on Etsy
Barbara Lewis books on Amazon

Barabara's Enamel Jewelry class on Craftsy
Craftsy.com - all classes


Only a few will catch your heart

I spotted this inspiring quotation on facebook this morning while going over some of my summer photos. So, I poured another cup of coffee and played around a bit. 

Here is the photo I started with. This luscious Dahlia Van Gogh was sunning itself on a perfect summer day in Thuya Garden, Mount Desert Island. I keep telling myself that one of these days I need to get around to painting these pretties. Perhaps that is why the Michael Nolan quote spoke to me this morning.


Serving up some DIY Tray Tutorials

Chalkboard Serving Tray DIY from Shanty2Chic

Halloween is over... Let the real parties begin!

I was poking around for some Serving Tray Tutorials today (there are way more than I ever expected) and found these beauties.

DIY Tiered Tray from The Girl Creative

For detailed instructions click the captions to visit the creative folks behind these tutorials. Some of the DIYs are easier than others. I tried to cover a mix of skill levels.

DIY Wine Barrel Inspired Tray or Table via lilblueboo.com #wedding #gift #crafts #diy
Make A Wine Barrel Inspired Tray from Lil BlueBoo

The wine barrel inspired tray uses a silhouette to cut lettered stencils. If you don't have a die-cut machine you could just use a regular stencil, paint your text free hand or try one of the 12 easy image transfer techniques shared by The Graphics Fairy. She also has lots of free printable images on the site as well.

On the easier side, I love the idea of jazzing up existing cutting boards with leather strips. You could even play with text and images on these too for more pizzaz.

Cuttingboard Hacks from PoppyTalk

And here is a super easy DIY that you may have seen around Pinterest and Facebook last December. Simply melt mints in the oven, let cool and you have a hard sweet serving dish that you can leave behind after delivering your best baked goods. I linked to Dukes & Duchesses "recipe" as she made the excellent suggestion of baking in a rimmed baking dish to keep the edges from flowing away and give your candy plate a more consistent thickness. 

Do you have a favorite serving tray / platter? Maybe your grandmother only pulled it out on holidays or was painted by your preschooler?  Please share. I'd love to hear your stories or suggestions


Winner of Haunted Tampa book

Hey, Hey! Sorry about the delay. 

Whoops! I'm s few days behind on announcing the winner of this random drawing. The lucky winner of Deborah Frethem's spooky read is....

Lindsey Schutze

Congratulations, Lindsey! I'll contact you with instructions for claiming your book of local legends.

Thanks to those who took the time to comment and enter the drawing! Pop back later this week for a new giveaway. Haven't set at date or prize yet, but will have an announcement sorted for Thursday.


Tutorial Tuesday - Halloween Printables for your Party

love this FREE Halloween Printable!
Halloween Printable from SugarBeeCrafts

Can you believe that Halloween is just around the corner?

Trick or Treat Banner from Ella Claire

Here are some free printables to get your party started. Thank goodness there are so many clever bloggers to who have already shared their favorite October images! (Psst... some of the links, like Ella Claire above have additional links to even more Halloween freebies.) 

Johanna Parker Freebie from My Owl Barn

How cute would these cats & owls be as cupcake toppers?

Free Halloween printable available in black and white and three other colors.
Wicked Witch Halloween Printable from This Is Really My Life

Click the captions below each photo for details/printing instructions.

"A Happy Halloween. Hold your candle steady and keep a sharp lookout, for back among the shadows you'll see goblins peeking out"
Free Vintage Halloween Witches from Vintage Holiday Crafts

Just for kicks here are some vintage images to play with. Visit the two sites in the captions and toss 'Halloween' into the search bar to find more classic not-so-spooky antique pics, perfect for invitations (or just for fun).

If you are seeking more spooky freebies: Click Here for an assortment of creepy beverage labels, Here for some cute black and white decorations, or here to visit my Halloween DIY board on Pinterest.

And if you are reading this before 1 a.m. EST on 10/31/14 be sure to leave a comment. This will enter you in the random drawing for a book of "true" Tampa area ghost stories by Deborah Frethem.


Free Printable Poison Labels for your Halloween Libations

Poison Bottle Label
Poison Bottle Labels from HP

Spooky! Printable! Free! (3 of my favorite words)

Free Printable Halloween Bottle & Potion Labels from TwoCraftyPaws 

Spice up your Halloween bash! Wrap those beverage bottles with these fun labels from around the web.

Kid Friendly Halloween Labels from CentsationalGirl

Click the link below each picture to visit the sites for instructions. In some cases, like the one just above, you'll also find more images to choose from.

Free Printable Black & White Halloween Bottle Labels
Printable Halloween Bottle Labels from FunHouse

Did you catch the black and white creepy cute images I shared last week? If not click here. 

Free Halloween Printable labels from CraftyChicksCuppaCoffee

Also pop back tomorrow for another set of Halloween printables, I'm thinking signs and vintage images.

Vintage Poison Labels from ManMadeDIY

Like the idea but not the labels? Make some of your own using a few of these free frightful fonts rounded up by Ella Claire Inspired.

15 fabulous FREE Halloween Fonts with links to download! Perfect for Halloween Crafting, Projects, and Party Decor
My Favorite Free Halloween Fonts from EllaClaireInspired

Final Note: If you haven't entered the latest random drawing, leave a comment on this blog before 1 a.m. EST on 10/31 & get your name tossed into the witches hat. Thursday's winner will receive a copy of Deborah Fretham's book, Haunted Tampa from the Haunted America series. Click here for details.