8 Simple Ways To Get An Energy Boost In The Afternoon

By Nicole Tinkham

If you tend to feel groggy in the afternoon hours shortly after lunch, you are not alone. We’re sure you’ve heard the “get more sleep” speech before but maybe that’s not the issue. Even those who get plenty of sleep still get the afternoon yawns. Of course everyone’s different so your tired times may vary but the point is, at some time during the day you may feel yourself nodding off and we can help you get that little extra boost of energy that you need.

1.    Take a walk

Moving around and getting the blood flowing will definitely help keep you from falling asleep at your desk or whatever it is that you’re working on. Step away from your project, walk around, and stretch it out.

2.    Do something easy

Finding it hard to focus on your big tasks at this time? Instead do something that takes little thinking like sending an email, organizing your space, or calling a friend. I guess we’re saying to be productively lazy. Work but not too hard.

3.    Fuel your body with healthy food

Nutrition plays a huge part in how you feel throughout the day. Eat a healthy breakfast, keep it light for lunch, and munch on a small snack in the afternoon (almonds are a great choice). Too many carbs is said to really put you to sleep in the afternoon so try to limit them at lunch.

4.    Plan your day around your sleepy hours

We mentioned that everyone’s different and could have different times throughout the day that they feel tired. If you’re able, plan your day around your sleepy times. Aim to get important work done before and after that time so you can take a break when you need it most.

5.    Power nap

A short 20 to 60 minute nap can go a long way. If you are able, get a little shut eye but not much more than an hour or you may feel even groggier than before. Set an alarm and you’ll be surprised how refreshed you’ll feel after a good nap.

6.    Use peppermint oil

Just a drop of peppermint oil rubbed into your hands and a little on your face (not near the eyes) is sure to wake you up when you start dozing off.

7.    Eat dark chocolate

This is our favorite one on the list!! Be careful though, milk chocolate is not the same and the sugar in that could make you even sleepier after your sugar rush. But just a little dark chocolate makes you feel good and the little bit of caffeine will help wake you up.

8.    Do what you love

You will be more energetic and excited about working on a project you love than something that puts you to sleep even more. Get the not so fun tasks done first so you have something to look forward to in the afternoons.

When you just can’t seem to stay awake, you get absolutely nothing done. Then since you didn’t get anything done in the afternoon, you may have to stay later at work or stay up all night completing your project. The cycle starts again when you don’t get enough sleep and find yourself even more tired the next day. First thing’s first, get done what you can in the morning while you have the energy. Focus on the important things and get them done so you don’t push them aside later. Then play around with some of the ideas on this list and see which one works best for you.

Tell us, how do you boost your energy in the afternoon? Leave you tips in the comments below!

13 Ways to fight procrastination today

By Nicole Tinkham

13 Ways to(1)

When we asked our Facebook friends what they struggle with most as an artist, the overwhelming answer happened to be procrastination. It seems that many artists either have too many ideas they’d like to pursue and just don’t know where to begin or they draw a blank when it comes to a particular project. In these cases, it’s common to start working on something else and ignore what you should be working on. At the end of the day it feels like you spent a lot of time getting nothing done. What a waste of time! Even if you aren’t an artist, we’re sure you can relate. Quit spending time doing the things that aren’t helping you. Here are 13 ways you can fight procrastination and get more productive today.
1.    Choose the most important thing on your to-do list. We suggest creating a to-do list of all the things you hope to get done in a day. Choose the top 3 most important things you MUST get done and put a star next to them. Out of those 3, choose the #1 most important thing and highlight it. This is what you need to work on FIRST! Everything else on the list can wait for later or tomorrow.

2.    Set uninterrupted focus time. The best way to get things done is to eliminate all other distractions. This means your phone should be shut off or on silent. Everyone around you knows you are in the zone and not to bother you. Have only the task at hand in front of you. Don’t start working on a million other things during your uninterrupted time. Get completely focused on that one important task!

3.    Track how long you’re spending on each task. Set a timer when you begin and stop it when you’re finished. If the time spent on the task seems way too long it’s time to reevaluate your focused time. Did any distractions pop up? Did you start working on something else? Did you get a phone call halfway in? Timing your focus sessions will open your eyes as to what you’re really spending your time on and will allow you to improve.

4.    Prep for success. If you know your messy art room will be a huge distraction for you, spend some time the night before de-cluttering it. Don’t spend too much time on this though. Get in, straighten up, and get out. If there are certain supplies you need for your project, get those ahead of time too. There will be no messing around during your focused time!

5.    Break down large projects into smaller tasks. Sometimes one huge project just seems impossible. But if you break that project down into small projects it’s much more manageable and you’ll feel more comfortable tackling it.

6.    Do the most important work during your peak time of day. If you’re a morning person, plan your focused time first thing in the AM. If you’re a night owl, wait to start your project until creativity strikes.

7.    Take a walk. If you sit down and just can’t seem to get anything done, you’re drawing a blank, and there’s no creative flow, it may be time to clear your mind. Try taking a SHORT (emphasis on short) walk and you should come back to your project refreshed and focused.

8.    Find new ways to challenge yourself. If you’re constantly doing the same things over and over again, you’ll bore yourself making it much more difficult to get in the creative zone and be productive. When things get dull challenge yourself by doing something outside your comfort zone. Work with a medium you’re not used to, try out a new technique, or attend an art workshop.

9.    Take breaks when needed. They say the ideal length of focused, productive time is 45 minutes. It’s the perfect amount of time to get in the zone but longer amounts of time can decrease your productivity. Every 45 minutes simply walk away from your project. Fix your mind on something else temporarily and get right back into it. These little breaks should be about 15 minutes long.

10.    Set deadlines for yourself. This will encourage you to push through until it’s done! Also make your goals and deadlines public. Tell a friend about them to hold you accountable.

11.    Get plenty of sleep. It’s so important in your energy and productivity levels. If you don’t sleep well at night (we know all the creative ideas start popping up when you’re trying to sleep), take a mini nap during the day. This will leave you refreshed and ready to go.

12.    Remember why completing this task is important. When things get difficult and you feel like giving up altogether, remember why you started. There had to have been a good reason behind it. Is it really worth giving up at this point?

13.    Don’t be so hard on yourself. It takes time to form any habit just like it takes time and practice to learn a new art technique. The more you prioritize and get focused on one task at a time, the easier and better you’ll get at it. Keep on going. You CAN fight procrastination.

Don’t let procrastination ruin your success! This list may seem overwhelming but just take it one day at a time. Here’s where you need to start today. First of all, determine the most important thing that needs to get done. Get rid of all distractions, and get to work on it immediately. Stay focused, only taking short mini breaks when needed. That’s it! Continue to use this list and put it into action every day to help you fight procrastination for good.

Tell us, has this blog helped you get more done? Leave a comment below with your experience 🙂

3 Creative things to do with scrap fabric

By Nicole Tinkham

3 Creative things to do with scrap fabric

My mom did a lot of quilting when I was younger and one of my favorite things to do was play dress up with her scrap fabric. There were pieces everywhere in every color, pattern and size imaginable! It was a dream land for a kid but looking back on it now, it was just plain chaos. If you too have fabric scraps hogging up all your craft room space, I completely understand the struggle. We’ve put together 3 creative things to do with scrap fabric including fun projects to use them for, repurposing, and storage ideas that work. Continue reading to finally get your scrap fabric under control.
1.    Get crafty!
Before tossing or throwing away old scrap pieces of fabric, take a look at this endless list of scrap fabric projects. The only problem with hanging on to scraps for future projects is you may never need that particular piece! Instead of waiting for the perfect project to come along, create a project specifically for that scrap piece. Make sense? Just use your imagination and get a little creative with it 🙂

2.    Repurpose it
Don’t think you’ll ever use that last little bit of orange flowered fabric?? That’s ok! Repurpose it into fabric twine instead. We’re sure you can find use for string. Here’s a tutorial on how it’s done.

3.    Store it
When you just don’t have a use for those scraps right now but can’t seem to part with them, store them. But don’t just throw them in a junk drawer. It’s time to really get organized. Here are a few ideas.

There are many types of organizational drawer systems out there (check Walmart) that are perfect for storing scrap fabric. We like the clear plastic kind that allow you to see exactly what’s inside. Be sure to choose a size and style that works well with the amount of scraps you have.

Another way to store fabric scraps is in bins. As with the drawers, bins also come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. Remember to use what works best for YOU. See below for two of our favorites.

Mason jars
If you have some empty mason jars lying around and your scraps are small enough, why not store them in jars? Just be sure to group similar colors or patterns together to keep it organized.

File cabinet
File cabinets don’t always have to be for office use. Believe it or not, you can effectively organize scrap fabric in them too. Simply sort scraps out by color, texture, pattern, theme, or whatever system you come up with. Now place categorized scraps in hanging file folders. Be sure to label each file folder so you know exactly what’s in it. You may even want to staple both sides of the file folder halfway up to form a pocket so scraps don’t fall out.

file cabinet

Shoe organizer
Ever see those plastic shoe organizers that hang over the door and have numerous slots to hold shoes? Well those work PERFECTLY for storing fabric scraps. We love the fact that you can hang it right in the closet so it’s out of the way.

Wrapped around foam board
Here’s a nifty little trick we picked up from Pinterest that will make your life a whole lot easier. The main issue people have with scrap fabric is keeping it neat and tidy, right? With all the different shapes and sizes, it’s easy for scraps to have a mind of their own. To keep them in their place, wrap scraps around foam board (cut down to smaller pieces that work well for you). Hold fabric in place with a pin and store them however you’d like. You can even store them on a bookshelf at this point. This is just a great way to keep scraps nice and neat without having to fold them.

Whether you decide to use your scrap fabric for new projects, repurpose it, or store it for later the important thing is that you minimize clutter so you have more space to work in your craft room. Your friends and family members may try to convince you to just get rid of it all but as long as you’re doing one of these three things and keeping it organized, there’s no need to part ways with your beloved scraps!

We want to hear from you! If not fabric, what are you currently struggling with when it comes to organizing the art room? Let us know in the comments and it could be featured in the next blog.

5 minute art projects for when you’re short on time

By Nicole Tinkham

5 minute art projects for when you don't have much time
We hear it all the time. You want to get more art time into your daily life but your schedule is so packed that you simply can’t make it happen. It’s unfortunate because this is how you grow as an artist. To get better at anything, you must practice consistently. If you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel at the moment, let us introduce our favorite 5 minute art projects for when you’re short on time.

1.    Zentangle
Zentangle is basically organized doodling. It allows you to clear your mind and completely relax. When you only have 5 minutes, work on a smaller scale. You can use 3”x3” cards and do quick little zentangle designs. It’s super easy to get lost in a zentangle project so you may want to set a timer if you have other things on your agenda.

Learn more about zentangle and how to get started here.

2.    Stamping
Next time you’re in the art supply store, grab a few stamps that jump out to you and ink pads in your favorite colors. When you have a few extra minutes, play around with them. We love making our own greeting cards. It doesn’t take up much of your time and there’s so much to experiment with (like embossing powder). Let your imagination run wild!

3.    Sketching
We encourage ALL ARTISTS to carry around a small sketchbook with them wherever they go. You never know when you’ll gain pockets of time throughout the day when you could be practicing your art. If you’re at work, take a 5 minute break to sketch and clear your mind. Sketch on your morning commute (as long as you’re not the one driving) or 5 minutes before you leave the house in the morning. Once you start actively looking for these segments of time, you’ll realize there are more opportunities than you thought.

4.    Writing
Writing can sometimes seem unrelated to the art we’re normally familiar with but what’s more creative than telling a story? Remember that there are many ways to use your creative mind that don’t involve drawing or painting. If you don’t have a sketchbook (or even if you do), carry around a journal to jot down inspiring thoughts for the day, a story, or some poetry.

5.    Coloring
Have you heard about adult coloring books yet?? They seem to THE hobby to get into these days. We love them because it requires some creativity but you don’t have to put yourself entirely out there if you don’t feel comfortable with your artwork yet. There’s no pressure to finish the page you’re coloring right away if you don’t have time and it’s a great way to escape for a little while.

We only put our artwork on the back burner because we THINK we don’t have time for it. If you’re serious about working on your art every single day, here’s what we want you to do. Write down every single thing you do in a day and how long it takes you to do it. This will open your eyes to where you have some extra time and what you should stop doing or cut back on doing so you can focus on what really matters, your ART!

Tell us, how do you get just a little more art in your daily routine? Let us know in the comments below.

6 DIY Sharpie holiday gift projects & tutorials

By Nicole Tinkham
6 DIY Sharpie holiday gift projects & tutorials

The holidays are just around the corner, and with it are some opportunities to let your creativity shine. Before you crawl under your covers and scream that you’re incapable of making anything crafty, hear us out! Being a DIY-er can save a ton of money and it also helps you avoid those long lines at crowded stores. To help you out this crafting season, we’ve come up with our 6 favorite DIY gifts and tutorials that ANYONE can do. All you need is a Sharpie and a few other supplies to create these SIMPLE & QUICK projects.

Everyone loves customized coffee mugs and these are so easy (and inexpensive) to create. Here’s what you’ll need: A plain white mug (can be found at the dollar store) and Sharpie markers (choose the oil-based paint markers for a longer lasting design) in the colors of your choice.

Let’s begin!

1. Practice drawing your design on a test sheet of paper first. Once you feel comfortable, draw it on the coffee mug with your Sharpie. You can draw any type of design you desire and use as many colors as you want. Get creative!

2. After your drawing is complete, allow the mug to dry in a safe place for a couple of hours.

3. Place the mug in the oven and allow to heat up to 350 degrees F. Bake for 30 minutes. It’s important to have the mug in the oven while the oven is still heating and all the way until it is cooled so you don’t get any cracking.

4. Your mug is finished! We recommend gently washing your creation by hand instead of a dishwasher.

Something magical happens when Sharpies are used in combination with alcohol inks. The colors swirl together to create a marbleized effect which makes really cool Christmas ornaments. Here’s what you need: A clear glass ornament, an assortment of Sharpie markers, rubbing alcohol, and either a dropper or spray bottle. Oh and something to protect your work area like a trash bag or newspaper because this could get messy.

Let’s begin!

1. First thing’s first, get set up. Cover your work area, scrub your ornament down with rubbing alcohol to remove any dirt, and hang or prop the ornament so it’s in a comfortable position for you to work.

2. Take a few Sharpie colors of your choice and color in a few blobs. It doesn’t have to be a masterpiece drawing or look like anything at all. Your goal is just to get a few colorful blobs of marker on your ornament.

3. Drop or spray the alcohol ink on the colored area of the ornament and watch as the colors swirl and blend together.

4. Allow the colored area to dry before filling in the other areas. Continue doing this process until you are happy with the results.

Hint: If you mess up, simply soak a paper towel with rubbing alcohol and wipe the ornament clean.

Gift wrap

Sometimes the gift wrap is just as exciting (or more so) than the gift itself. Sharpie doodles on brown kraft paper are so much fun. Be sure to get or make a colorful bow to go along with it!

Ever consider designing your own candles? It’s way easier than you would think and so much more personal than buying ordinary ones at the store. All you need is: A white candle (not in glass jar), copy paper (to protect your table for when the marker bleeds through the tissue paper), tissue paper, wax paper, tape, sharpies, and a heat gun.

Let’s begin!

1. Cut the tissue paper to about the size of your candle and tape to a sheet of copy paper.

2. Draw your design on the tissue paper with your Sharpies. Use any colors you’d like.

3. Once the design is drawn, remove the tissue paper from the copy paper. Cut out the design leaving very little excess tissue paper and place it on the candle.

4. Wrap a piece of wax paper (larger than your candle) around the whole candle and pull it tightly.

5. Next you’ll melt your design into the candle using your heat gun. Move the heat gun back and forth over the design for about 30 seconds. Make sure your hands are at the back of the candle away from the heat gun!

6. Once the whole design has been heated, gently peel back the wax paper to make sure the image has been transferred onto the candle. If not, continue to use the heat gun until it is transferred.

You don’t need a set of paints and brushes to create beautiful artwork to hang on the wall. In fact, you don’t even have to be an artist at all! What you need: A stretched canvas in the size of your choice, various Sharpie markers, a pencil (to plan out your design) and optional stencil and ruler.

Let’s begin!

1.    Plan out what you want on your canvas. You can sketch it right on the canvas with a pencil or use a stencil if you’re not one for drawing. If you’re doing straight lines, we definitely recommend using a ruler.

2.    Once you have your design laid out, it’s time to grab the sharpies. You can outline, fill in, create interesting fonts, stipple (using small dots), or anything else you can come up with. Do something unique and have fun.

Vintage signs
This right here is going to save you a ton of money! Wooden signs make a great gift for the holidays especially if they say something merry. And you only need a few supplies: Wooden board (we recommend using one from a pallet), printed saying in font of your choice to the size of the board, charcoal pencil, tape, pen, Sharpie paint marker, and sand paper for the finish.

Let’s begin!

1.    Think about what you want on your sign and choose a wooden board the appropriate size. Print out on paper what you want the sign to say. You can play around with fonts and choose something really fun.

2.    Flip the printed words over and scribble with a charcoal pencil on the back side. This is how you’ll be transferring the wording so make sure all areas are covered.

3.    Align the wording (charcoal side down) on the wood where you want it. Once you have it in the perfect position, tape the paper to the wood so it doesn’t move around when you start tracing.

4.    Taking your pen, outline each letter. When finished, remove the paper. You should be able to see and outline where the words are.

5.    Next, take your Sharpie and trace the pencil markings. Go back in and fill in each letter with your marker.

6.    Once the marker has dried, go over the sign with sand paper to give it that vintage look. Your sign is now complete!

TIP: Start your holiday gift making ASAP so you’re not scrambling around last minute trying to get everything done. These projects should be relaxing and fun, not stressful. Keep in mind what your recipient likes and choose your projects based on their style. This will make the gift much more personable. As always, remember to share with us what you create! Let us know what you plan on doing this season in the comments below or post a picture of your creation on our Facebook page.

What your Stickles Glitter Glue obsession says about your personality

By Nicole Tinkham

If you’re anything like us, you have a mild to severe obsession with Stickles Glitter Glue. But that’s not a bad thing! You can write, draw, dot, dash, embellish, and sparkle-fy just about any project plus they come in a ton of really fun colors. What’s not to love? We don’t want you to be ashamed of your growing collection of Stickles though. We want you to embrace it! Your love for Stickles as well as your love for getting crafty says a lot about you. Here are 8 personality traits of those who have an obsession with these little bottles of joy!

You’re a go getter. You don’t wait around for instruction. When you have an idea, you go for it! You’re very creative and have the ability to think quickly on the spot. You don’t let anyone get your high spirits down because you know you can make a huge difference in the world.

Your positive spirit shines (or shall we say sparkles) bright. Why let life get you down when there are so many beautiful things to enjoy? You simply don’t believe in negativity and strive to always lift people up. You know that things happen for a reason and have learned to roll with the punches.

You focus on the details. Some people overlook the small details but not you! You know the POWER of adding that very last detail to a project and how it can transform the piece. You’ve got an eye for great artwork and know just how to tweak them to perfection.

You collect. Once you Stickle you just can’t stop, right? You most likely have the entire Stickle collection (because having every color is a MUST) and it doesn’t stop there. Your craft room is stacked high with various creative goodies you’ve collected over the years.

You’re a giver. How many days until Christmas?? You have it marked on your calendar and already started making creative holiday cards. One of your passions is giving. You love creating super personal gifts and seeing the pure joy on their faces 🙂

You cherish memories. You know from experience that time flies by way too quickly so you make sure to enjoy every single moment with your loved ones. It’s those simple memories that end up sticking with you and mean the most.

You see the best in people. You believe that there’s something good in every person and every situation. You’re eager to bring that out in people and show the world how amazing they really are. Needless to say, you’re a people person. You love interacting with others and learning their life story.

You’re the life of the party. Life is meant to be fun, right? You love trying new things, going on adventures, experimenting with various art materials, surrounding yourself with like-minded people and just being the totally unique person that you are.

STICKLES LOVERS! How many of these personality traits can you relate to? Let us know by leaving a comment below or over on our Facebook page!

19 Surfaces to Spray Paint & Counting

By Nicole Tinkham

If you’re a spray paint fanatic and are constantly asking yourself “can I spray paint that?” than this is a post you need to print out and keep close by your side. One of the questions people ask most is whether or not they can spray paint on a particular surface. In most cases, the answer is YES! In fact, there’s really only one instance where this wouldn’t be a great idea but we’ll get into that later. Let’s start with the endless surfaces you can go a little crazy on with spray paint.

CAN paint:

1.    Wood

2.    Tin

3.    Ceramic

4.    Glass

5.    Terra cotta

6.    Canvas

7.    Plastic

8.    Papier-mâché

9.    Styrofoam

10.    Plaster

11.    Mirror

12.    Fiberglass

13.    Ribbon

14.    Laminate

15.    Wicker

16.    Masonry

17.    Concrete

18.    MDF

19.    Particle board

CAN’T paint:

Any surface that will come in contact with food or beverages. It’s fine to paint a wine glass but for decoration purposes only.


You don’t always have to prime the surface before spray painting but we recommend doing so for the following surfaces:

•    Anything that will be going outside

•    Anything that will be exposed to moisture (to protect against rust)

•    Glossy surfaces

•    Wood surfaces


A sheen refers to the glossiness of a surface. Spray paints come in a few different sheens which can have a huge impact on the look of the final product.

•    Matte: Similar to flat paint without a gloss.

•    Satin: Eggshell finish.

•    Gloss: Provides a glossy finish.

•    Lacquer: Glossiest and shiniest finish.

Specialty Paints

Aside from the sheen, spray paint is also available in special finishes for a unique look. Here are some you may find in your travels:

•    Metallic

•    Hammered & stone finishes

•    Chalkboard

•    Frosted

You can transform just about anything with a can of spray paint and honestly, anyone can do it. If you aren’t already, it’s time to become a Do-It-Yourselfer! We’re sure this blog post got your wheels turning so just go after your next project head on and let us know how it turns out.  Comment below or connect with us on Facebook with any spray paint questions you may have.