5 Small Art Mistakes That You’re Probably Making

By Nicole Tinkham

mistakes

You are an amazing artist! Whether you’re an experienced artist who’s been creating for awhile or a total beginner, there’s always room for improvement. In fact, these five mistakes that you could be making are ones that you probably already know. But it’s always great to have a reminder. We’ll touch on everything from the media you’re working with to washing your hands before starting a project. Seriously, these are super basic but must-know tips. Read on for 5 small art mistakes that you’re probably making and how to fix them.

1.    Your environment is off

It sounds so simple but let’s face it, artists get messy. It’s just what they (typically) do. Before you begin working on a project, clean up your space. If there are any projects with wet paint, get them out of the way. Gather ALL of the supplies you’ll need before you begin working. Also set your space up to make you feel more creative. Move your easel by the window, move some plants over to the area, and do whatever it is you need to do to get in the zone.

2.    You’re not patient enough

Are you impatient?? No worries if you are, we and many other artists who we know can relate. Remember that it’s important to take the time to let your ink and paint dry completely to prevent unwanted smudging. If you’re working in oils, the struggle is real! You can always use mediums that will speed up the drying time though. Dry time isn’t the only struggle artists face with impatience though. Work with many details can take time, learning takes time, improving your skills takes time, great ideas take time to come up with. Art in general takes time! Take a deep breath, get focused, and try not to rush things.

3.    You’re not working with the right media

Use the right materials! It’s so easy to pick up the closest brush and start creating but it may not be the correct brush for your particular project. If that’s the case, your desired effect could be off and frustration can creep up on you. For example, if you want fine details you should use a small liner brush, not a large flat one. Pick the right supplies for the desired effect and know that quality supplies do go a long way. If you’re just starting out and aren’t sure which supplies are best for your project, just ask! We’re always here to help (call us at 941-747-2995) or ask a fellow artist or instructor. We’ve found that the art community is super supportive so don’t be afraid to speak up and learn from others.

4.    You forgot to wash your hands

This is a simple one but so important and especially so when drawing! The oils from your hands can affect the paper you’re working on and how the pencil lays on it. It’s something you may not think about since when the creative mood strikes you just jump right into it, right? But a quick wash is best before beginning a new project.

5.    You overwork yourself

Everyone needs to take a break. It fuels you to keep going and be more productive. We know many artists who work straight through the night and get very little sleep. We understand that nothing can stop that creative mind of yours but we suggest listening to your body. When you feel overly exhausted, it’s time to take a break. When you’re totally drained and can’t think of any ideas or aren’t moving forward with a project, it’s time for a break. Trust us when we say those breaks will pay off in the long run! You’ll return with a clear mind, ready to go!

You are a talented artist (we’ve seen your work and know this is a true statement🙂 ) but the little things in this blog make a big difference. As you learn new things, it’s easy to slip up on the small things you’ve probably heard a thousand times in the beginning. Just keep these 5 small art mistakes in the back of your mind on your next project and see the improvement. Even small improvement is still moving you forward! Keep on going artists, you are doing incredible.

9 Tips For Believing In Yourself And Your Artwork

By Nicole Tinkham

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You don’t have to be an artist to be struggling with your belief and confidence but we know many artists who do. It’s not easy being an artist (we’ve written a whole blog on it here) with exposing your creativity to the world, a world who doesn’t all understand what it means to be an artist. There’s a constant battle of ups and downs, feeling like you’re just not cut out to be an artist then selling a major piece. No matter what area in life it is, it’s extremely easy to let the beliefs of others soak into your own mind leaving you to think you’re just not worthy. We are determined though to get your belief back in both yourself and your artwork! Read on for 9 things you can start doing today to boost your confidence.

1.    Get in the right mindset – You need to change those negative beliefs into positive ones. Here’s a simple exercise to help you do it. Write down your negative beliefs, all of them! Just jot them down in your notebook. Now ask yourself if these beliefs are true. If you think they are, what is your evidence? If you don’t have any, that means the belief is false and you need to cross it off your list. Literally, draw a line through each one. Now it’s time to turn that negative belief into a positive one. Here’s an example.

No one likes my artwork.
I have a following of people who love my artwork.

We know that just writing out the positive belief won’t change everything overnight. That’s why you must read your list of positive beliefs every single day. Don’t stop looking them over because this works! The more you read them, the more you’ll start believing in them.

2.    Focus on the process, not the failure. Failure is the top reason for insecurities. We often take failure to heart and are fearful of making the same mistakes in the future. But if we shift our mindset and start looking at mistakes as opportunities to grow, we are more willing to try new things. Your career as an artist is a process. Believing in you is a process as well. Give it time and continue to move forward no matter what.

3.    You are the expert of your own artwork – Maybe you’re feeling insecure and think you don’t know as much as some more experienced artists. First of all, you will get there with time and practice. Also remember that no one knows your artwork better than you. This is where you are truly the expert. You have all the answers and people can’t question it because it’s your creation. You can’t be wrong here! Feeling a little more confident about it now?

4.    Test yourself and see what you can really do – Get out of your comfort zone and do something different and a little scary. This will not only improve your skills but it also makes those other scary things not seem so bad. It’s like having a fear of heights and deciding to go skydiving. Now climbing a ladder won’t seem half as bad! You are capable of so much but you’ll never realize it until you try new things.

5.    Success partner – Having a success partner to help you get through your struggles and to help push you to greater heights has got to be the greatest support system you can have. They’ll be there to work through the problems, help you get over your fears, and reach your goals. Learn how you can find a success partner here.

6.    Don’t compare yourself to other artists – Always look to other artists for inspiration, not comparison! Everyone is on their own journey and at a different stage of the process. Comparing yourself to others can be a very dangerous thing and it’s easy to start feeling very down on yourself by doing so. Realize that you’re on your own path and you’ll get to where you want to go if you keep focused on your own journey.

7.    Read self development books. These will help you get your mind right and become a more positive, happy, and confident person. It doesn’t matter which book you decide to read as long as you’re flooding your mind with positive thoughts. The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz is a great one to start with. Also treat your body well by eating healthy and being active. It helps you feel better all around.

8.    Hang around people who you aspire to be like – They say your personality turns into the 5 people you spend the most time with and we couldn’t agree more! If you have toxic friends who aren’t trying to do any better with their lives, you need to start hanging around people who lift you up and who inspire you to be a better person. The negative people in your life will only want to bring you down with them. Be selective with who you spend your time with and you’ll quickly start picking up some positive habits which will lift your spirit.

9.    Practice often – So much improvement can happen simply by practicing often! If you’re nervous about sharing or talking about your artwork to others, just start talking about it to everyone! We know it’s a scary thing but it’s the best way to get better at it. It does get easier once you make that leap.

Your success starts with your belief in yourself. Whatever you believe about yourself, you are right. So if you believe that you’ll never sell any of your artwork, you never will. But if you know in your heart that you were born for greatness and that you can make your dreams come true, you will be a huge success. With all the negativity in the world, it’s not an easy task but if you implement these 9 ways to believe in yourself and your artwork, you’ll get there and you can make incredible things happen.

Everything You Need To Know About Bullet Journaling And Keeping Your Life Organized

buet-journaling
By Nicole Tinkham

There’s a new cooler way to keep track of your happenings! Go ahead and ditch that non creative planner and jump on board with us as we discover the craze of the year, bullet journaling. Having a creative mind doesn’t mean you have an excuse to be unorganized. We’ll show you how you can be artsy and still have everything in order through a journaling/planning technique that can change your life. Read on for everything you need to know about bullet journaling and keeping your life organized.

What it is

Put simply, a bullet journal is a customizable to-do list, journal, planner, organizer, calendar and note taker all in one book. With this type of journal you can create your own pages which allow it to work with you and your schedule rather than you having to fit your priorities into a pre-made planner like we’re used to doing. Before you get all crazy with your notes and ideas, know that your bullet journal should be super structured and there’s a reason for that. It’s designed for you to be productive, keep up with reaching your goals, and weed out the unimportant tasks that can hold you back. Not everyone is a structured person and that’s fine. Your journal should have at least some structure but you can also make it your own.

Why you should try it

Not all planners will suit your needs. Have you ever bought a planner that doesn’t provide enough room to write the tasks and appointments you need to? Or maybe the planner is too big when you’d really like something smaller. Or maybe you’d like to track something (like a food journal) that a typical planner doesn’t allow for. This is why you need a bullet journal for total customization!

For the creative thinkers who don’t like structure but also need to get organized, this is for you. It’s perfectly acceptable to doodle in a bullet journal. In fact, it’s highly encouraged. You can make it your own and it’s a fun way to get used to organization in your life.

So many times we think having a different list for everything helps us stay organized when in reality, it just stresses us out even more. Think about it. You have your grocery list, your to-do list, your brainstorm of creative ideas list, and more. Having all these different types of lists everywhere can be distracting. With a bullet journal it’s all right there in one notebook making your life easier.

You can set goals for yourself and actually make them happen. Since you can customize this journal, you can include your big goals and areas that you need to work on and fill them in daily. Having your goals and tasks clearly written will keep them in the front your mind so you can achieve them.

You can be totally unique and artsy! Add some color, doodles, fancy handwriting, fun washi tape, and more. This seriously takes planners to the next level.

Every day can be organized differently and you can change things up as needed. You can’t do that with other planners. You won’t get bored and you’ll discover new and better ways to staying organized.

You can add in a habit tracker to help you stay on track with good habits. It’s simple too! Every day you do something right, you fill in a square for the day. This will show your consistency, where you need to improve, and will help you get better at doing that habit. This is especially helpful to visual people who like to actually see their progress on paper.

You can put in as much time as you want. You can set up your day in just 2 minutes or you could spend more time reflecting and jotting down each detail. You can make it super simple but most people like to spend some more time on it and make it look nice too.

You don’t need any fancy supplies, unless you want them! All you really need is a grid journal and a pen. Colorful pens, highlighters, stickers, and other embellishments are just an added bonus.

Different ways to do it

There are two ways to go about bullet journaling: Setting it up 100% yourself as we’ve talked about or purchasing one with premade pages.

It may sound like the premade books go against everything we’ve said about customizing your own journal but hear us out. If there’s a specific goal you have in mind, there may be a journal out there to help you reach that goal specifically. For example, we’ve seen nutrition bullet journals that are set up to plan for meals as well as other things. Even if you go with this option, it won’t be like a typical planner. These are creatively designed and provide you with what you should need to achieve your goals.

If you take the DIY route, all you’ll nead is a gridded journal (in any type and size) and a pen. You’ll be writing everything out yourself but you can use the guidelines below for marking tasks to help you stay organized.

Simple dot = Task
X = Task complete
> = Task Migrated
< = Task Scheduled
O = Events
= Notes
* = Gives task priority
! = Creative idea/inspiration
An eye drawing = Further research required

You’ll also want to leave a few pages in the beginning of your journal open for the index which is what brings everything together. You’ll have to number your journal pages which can be time consuming but it’s definitely worth it in the end. As you work through your book, simply add topics to your index and indicate which page number they are on.

Top tips

•    Create a weekly log where you brain dump all the things you want to get done for the week but not sure which days you’ll do them.

•    Break your days up into time periods. Several tasks don’t feel so daunting when they’re grouped by time and importance.

•    Separate your events in a creative way with doodles or washi tape.

•    Include your reading and movie wish list into a to-do list

•    Get a quality notebook that you absolutely love. We recommend Moleskine.

•    Use a ruler to help you create straight lines.

•    Use planner stencils to help you create fun shapes.

•    Use colorful page flags to help you easily find the page you need.

•    Create a “waiting on” list. This is great for when you place an order for something and are waiting for it to be delivered. Be sure to include the arrival date so you can track it!

•    Have a section to set monthly and weekly goals.

•    Create fun themes by doodling around your lists.

•    Log your memories. Jot down certain words that remind you of a particular event or doodle it.

•    Include a gratitude section.

•    Have fun with your headers on each page. Learn new creative lettering and just have fun with it.

•    Develop a planning routine. Sit down to plan each month, week, and day. Take the time to do this and in the end you’ll be more organized and will actually save yourself time.

Still don’t think bullet journaling is for you? We DARE YOU to give it a try just for a month or two. We totally believe in the power of keeping goals organized and how fun you can make this normally boring task if you do it right. We think bullet journaling will blow your mind! It’s totally different than anything you’ve ever seen before.  Give it a try and be sure to let us know how it goes!

6 Things To Consider When Starting A Craft Group

By Nicole Tinkham

craft-group

Do you ever find yourself in a creative rut? The best way to get out of that rut is by discovering fresh new ideas. And the best way to discover these new ideas is by learning something new. The answer? CRAFT GROUPS! A craft group is a gathering of creative minds working on projects together. We mentioned crafty parties in a previous blog but now we’re talking about regular meetings. We understand that putting something like this together can be overwhelming with meeting times, location, projects, cost, food, and more. But we’ve also realized how simple it can be if done right. For instance, having a different hostess each month can take a lot of the pressure off of you. Read on for 6 things to consider when starting a craft group.

1. Initial questions – Figure out what type of group this will be and who will attend

What’s the goal of the craft group? – Improve skills? Make new friends? Swap ideas?

Who do you want in the group? – What are they into? How old are they? What other hobbies do they have? What’s their home life like (married, children, etc.)?

When, where, and how often would you like to meet? This can be decided in the first meeting as a group discussion.

What type of projects will you focus on? – Of course you can do a variety of different crafts but it may be helpful starting with something specific like paper crafts or jewelry making.

2. Ways to get started – How to spread the word and invite people

Word of mouth – Start with your group of friends and host your first meeting among like minded people. Then have those friends invite some of their friends next time who might be interested. You can see how this has potential to grow quickly. It depends on the space available but if you have a large area and a few people instructing, you can turn these groups into something huge. But if you want to keep it small, we recommend about 10 people.

Social media group – You can meet a ton of new people in Facebook crafting groups. Form relationships with these people first before inviting them to your craft group and if they aren’t local you could try a virtual craft group.

Meetup.com – This is a social gathering tool where you can find a ton of different groups centered around various hobbies. Create your own to get more local artists in your craft group!

3. The details – What you need to start thinking about

Length of time (we recommend two hour sessions)

How often – Once a month works well for most people.

Each person pays the hostess for supplies – $10 to $20 typically works well but it depends on the project.

Things work out nicely when the hostess provides the supplies so people don’t have to bring their own. However, if they want to bring something special (like a particular craft paper) that’s fine too.

The hostess should also be the instructor but the hostess can switch from person to person each month.

It’s a good idea to email the invites and have recipients RSVP by a certain date so the hostess can get everything ready. Also consider requiring those who RSVP pay the fee even if they don’t show up.

You can also host the group at a place where you can rent space if you have little room in your house.

Have others bring the food. We recommend keeping it simple and nothing too messy!
Set up supplies ahead of time, make sure you have plenty of space, and have extension cords ready if needed.

Complete an example of the project so others can mimic it. Also be sure to float around to help others when they have questions.

Consider dry time and the tools needed. Some projects may not be dry in time to do the whole thing in one session. And certain tools like a saw for wooden projects may not be the best idea in a group like this.

4. Your first meeting

Do something simple that doesn’t take long.

Plan for future meetings and brainstorm project ideas together. You can even vote on projects that people want to do in the future.

Act as if this is a trial run. It doesn’t have to be perfect but from the first meeting you’ll learn and be able to make changes for future meetings.

Start with just a few close friends so you don’t overwhelm yourself.

Do a project you’re confident with and can easily explain.

5. Why form a craft club?

To try things you wouldn’t normally do on your own

To learn new things from other creative people

To meet new friends in your area

To gain a social life and escape the stresses of life

To be inspired and get your creative spark back

6. Craft ideas

Holiday themed projects

Cards

Crochet

Jewelry

Get more ideas on Pinterest and get the whole group involved

Don’t let the planning part of a craft group hold you back from starting your own! Determining what type of group it will be with what type of people, switching hosts every month, planning it out as a group, and having a fun purpose behind it sets you up for success. The key is having fun. It doesn’t matter if there are slip ups or few people attend your first one. Make it fun anyway!

Tell us, do you have a craft group you’re part of? What are your best tips for starting one?

How To Transition From Student To Instructor

instructor
Nicole Tinkham

Stepping outside your comfort zone (as a student) and becoming an instructor is a scary thing! But the best way to grow as an artist is to do something totally new. Just think about all the art instructors out there who must have started somewhere. They got started right where you’re at now. We bet that at some point in your art career, an art instructor changed everything for you. They opened your eyes to the creative possibilities and inspired you to do something incredible with your life. Now it’s time you paid it forward by teaching your own skills to others and help them before they make some of the mistakes you made when first starting out. Read on for how to find your niche, learning how to teach, understanding the various ways people learn, different ways to practice teaching a class before you actually do one, how to be in control of the class, and the perfect time to get started.

1.    Become knowledgeable in a specific area

It’s nice to dabble in a bunch of different areas and expand your skills. But when it comes to teaching others, it’s highly important that you know exactly what you’re doing and can answer any questions that come up (to the best of your ability, anyway). Pick an area that you’re passionate about, that you know a lot about, that you’ve been doing for awhile, and that you’ve learned and grown in.  You should feel the most confident in this area. If you’re unsure what that thing is for you, think about what you get the most compliments on. What techniques do artists continuously ask you how to do? Where do you feel your strongest abilities lie?

2.    Take a course on teaching

Just because you’re an expert in a certain area in the art world doesn’t mean you’re ready to go off teaching it just yet. Some of us were born teachers and can explain things well while others don’t naturally have that skill. Like anything, you can learn and grow as a teacher and that’s where books, videos, and classes come in. Taking speech classes may also help if you’re uncomfortable speaking in front of others.

3.    Understand the ways of learning

Everyone learns in their own unique way. Some people prefer to read instructions while others rather see it in action. Some people even learn best by actually doing it. Keep this in mind when structuring your art workshops and don’t become impatient with a student if they just aren’t getting it. Try a different method with them and see if it helps them pick it up.

4.    Practice makes perfect

When you’re doing something totally new and out of your comfort zone, remember that you will get better with time. All it takes is lots and lots of practice! To practice instructing your workshop, you can record yourself going through the class to see where you need to make improvements. You can also go through a trial run with your friends or just a small group and see what types of questions or confusion arises. Or you can just jump right into it and start your workshops with a full class. People are forgiving so no worries if you mess up! Just do your best and strive to get better each time.

5.    Get organized

Half the artists we talk to struggle with organization and the other half are very good at it. We’re all different and that’s ok! But when it comes to instructing workshops there has to be some level of organization. Plan out when each class will be, how long it will be, and exactly what will be accomplished in each one. With instructing, you have to lead in a step by step process so your students can easily understand the instructions. The key is to be very clear. Of course you’ll also want to be on time and do the things you say you’ll do. This will build trust with your students and they’ll want to come back for more.

6.    Don’t wait for perfection

So many people never try anything new because they’re afraid to start! There will never be the right timing and you will never be perfect. As we mentioned in #4, you will get better the more you do it. So just get started. If you don’t take the opportunity in front of you, it may never come around again. Now is the time to start!

Teaching art workshops isn’t for everyone so don’t feel pressured to transition from student to instructor. It doesn’t hurt to try it out and see if it’s for you though. You can always start small and work your way up to larger and more frequent classes. It really doesn’t have to be that scary! You will learn and improve as you go so don’t sweat a bad class if they come up. Remember to choose the topic you’re passionate about, get really good at teaching others, understand how they learn, never stop getting better, get yourself organized, and get started right away. You can do this!

Have you ever instructed an art class? If so, what advice would you give someone just starting out?

How To Take The Best Fall Foliage Photos For Your Next Painting

By Nicole Tinkham

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Each season brings something new and exciting to spark your creativity and get some brilliant ideas flowing for your upcoming projects. Whenever you’re feeling stuck and just don’t know what to create next, turn to nature! With the changing seasons, there’s always something new to discover and try. We absolutely love the colors of fall and think this is the perfect time to get out there and be inspired. If you’re not a plein air artist, no problem! Here are 13 tips for taking the best fall foliage photos to help you with your next painting.

1.    Unique angles – Fall scenery photos have been done before, numerous times. They’re almost always brilliant but to mix it up a little try out different perspectives. Look up at the trees, get a close up, snap a photo from a distance, and just play around.

2.    Find color elsewhere (not in trees) – Gorgeous fall colors can be found in other areas besides trees. Think about the yellows and oranges reflecting in the water. You can still capture that color but in a unique way.

3.    Strategically scatter leaves for composition – Leaves fall randomly which we love! But if they just aren’t working for your photo, arrange them in a way that’s aesthetically pleasing.

4.    Look for a combination of colors – Don’t just focus on the oranges and yellows of the leaves. Also try to get in a nice blue sky for contrast or something else in the scenery that really stands out. Color is all around. Open your eyes to see the not so obvious.

5.    Look for cool effects – When a row of trees reflects in a body of water the effects can be really cool. If you spot this at just the right time (can’t have much wind!) snap a photo real quick.

6.    Scout out the perfect place – If you happen to be at the right place at the right time, perfect! But if you’re on a mission, don’t aimlessly drive around. Plan it out and know exactly where you want to go so you don’t waste your time blindly searching for the ideal location.

7.    Choose your time wisely – They say the best times to shoot are at dawn and sunset. At these times, the sunlight is at its warmest color so photos tend to come out really nice. But if your timing is off, don’t let that stop you. You can still capture amazing photos at other times in the day.

8.    Get the most of the whole season – There’s more than one type of scenery to capture in the fall. You have the moments when the trees are full, when leaves start to fall, when leaves pile up on the ground, and then when winter comes and the trees are bare. You have many opportunities to capture the different stages of fall.

9.    Slow down your shutter – This will help you capture movement in waterfalls and falling leaves.

10.    Tripods make life easier! You may want to invest in one to get the best scenery shots.

11.    Bring leaves home to play around with – The tricky thing with leaves is when they blow around out in nature. Instead of getting the job done there, grab some good ones and bring them back to the studio. You can arrange them and photograph them exactly how you want.

12.    Fall portraits – Get creative! There are so many fun ways to capture fall foliage in portraits.

13.    Other fall things – When we think fall, we typically think beautifully changing trees. However, there are other ways to portray the fall feeling. Think farmer’s markets and apple cider.

Don’t let this beautiful season pass you by! You don’t have to be a pro to get incredible photos, just follow these tips even if you’re working from your smartphone. Keep an eye out for interesting perspectives and beautiful colors. Even if you’re working on several paintings at the moment, it doesn’t hurt to snap a few photos to have for later use, like in the middle of winter when you don’t want to leave the house.

Tell us, have you taken any breathtaking fall foliage photos yet this year? We’d love to hear how they’ve helped you with your painting projects!

21 Unique Fall Craft Ideas That Aren’t Wreaths

By Nicole Tinkham

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While we absolutely love a beautiful fall wreath, we feel like it’s the typical craft to do this time of year. Plus once you have made a wreath, you usually don’t need another unless you’re giving it away to someone else. Regardless, we wanted to bring to you a list (of 21 to be exact) of different ways you can get crafty this fall season doing something other than the usual wreaths.

1.    Mason Jar Crafts

There is so much you can do with mason jars from food storage to decorating. They are an inexpensive way to decorate your home for the holidays and we love these super easy ideas!

•    Paint them in fun fall colors and use them as vases for autumn flowers.

•    Mod Podge some fake leaves around the outside and put a small candle inside the jar.

•    Turn them into something useful like utensil holders for your Thanksgiving dinner or a pencil cup (for writing all the things you’re thankful for). Simply paint the outside of the jar in fall colors and you can even paint a saying like “Give Thanks” to make it more festive.

•    We love Fairy Lights used in mason jars and you can get creative with what else you put in there too.

•    Fill them up with something colorful like candy corn or corn kernels.

•    A pretty autumn ribbon may be all you need. Just tie it around the top of the jar and put a small candle inside.

2.    Fun with leaves

When we think autumn, we think LEAVES! And lots of them depending on where you live. Here are some of our favorite ways to use them in crafts.

•    Wall art – You don’t even have to be an artist to pull this one off! Grab a canvas, lay some leaves on top in an eye pleasing composition, and spray paint over the entire canvas. When the leaves are removed, it will leave the silhouette of the leaves.

•    Create a fall banner with found leaves in your backyard. Use a string, clothes pins, and the best leaves you can find. Hint: These look really nice hung on the mantel.

•    Leaf prints – Find fun shaped leaves, paint one side with acrylic paint in fall colors, and press it onto a sheet of paper. You can then put the print in a frame and hang it up as your fall decorations.

•    Paint leaves – Gather a bunch of leaves from your backyard and get creative with them. You can paint dots, lines, or whatever you want. You can even use an ultrafine Sharpie and doodle right on them. These would make a great centerpiece if you put them all in a basket.

•    Easy leaf stained glass – Grab a nice variety of different leaves, place them on a piece of wax paper (arranging them how you want on half the sheet), fold the other half of the wax paper over the leaves, and placing a towel over top, iron over the project until the paper sticks. You can then create a frame with construction paper and hang the final piece in your window.

3.    Card Making

It doesn’t have to be Christmas to send out gifts and cards! In fact, shouldn’t we focus on giving thanks more so this month than any other? Don’t just go out and buy a card though. Get creative and make your own! Here are a few of our best tips when it comes to card making:

•    Keep an eye out for the perfect paper. Looks for color, texture, and patterns that speak to you.

•    Work in layers of paper cutouts for added dimension.

•    Start a collection of rubber art stamps. You really can’t have too many!

•    Be personable – really think about what the recipient would appreciate.

•    Think outside the box. Not all cards have to be a specific size or shape.

•    Embellish like crazy and just have fun with it.

4.    Fall pumpkins

Pumpkin decorating is not just for Halloween! You can do fun pumpkin crafts all autumn long. Here are a few of our favorite ideas.

•    Dress it up with ribbons and fall flowers.

•    Write your favorite fall messages on the pumpkin with Sharpie. This works really well on a white pumpkin.

•    Drill holes in the pumpkin forming an interesting pattern and put a candle inside. This allows you to carve the pumpkin without the Halloween vibe.

•    Throw some glitter on them! Simply paint on Mod Podge and stick on some glitter.

We see so many people interested in getting crafty around the fall season and we love it! Since Thanksgiving is right around the corner, we wanted to stress giving. When you’re doing these projects, think about making them for someone else. Once you get into the giving spirit, you’ll want to keep on giving throughout the winter holidays as well.

Tell us, what do you plan to make and give away this fall?