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.