The 6 Steps To Prepare For An Art Workshop

By Nicole Tinkham


If you just signed up for your first art workshop or it’s been a while and you’re not sure what to expect, this blog is for you! We know how scary it can be trying something new in a classroom with people you don’t know. You’re there to learn but you also don’t want to be clueless either. We feel ya! That’s why we came up with these 6 steps to prepare for an art workshop to ease your mind before you begin.

1.    Signing up

Choose a type of workshop – What do you want to learn? Where would you like to expand your skills? What interests you? It’s so important to choose a workshop that will help you grow as an artist. It’s common to choose one that aligns with what you are already good at and enjoy but the key here is to challenge yourself! Choose a workshop in an area you don’t feel comfortable in and really push yourself.

Choose a location – Finding an art workshop close to home can ease your mind as far as traveling goes. Make sure you have plenty of time to get there especially if it’s a further drive. It’s also helpful if the workshop takes place in an art supply store. That way if you forget anything, you can pick it up right there in the store. We see artists do it all the time!

Choose an instructor (and familiarize yourself with them) – Maybe you have an art instructor in mind that you really admire and maybe you have no clue which instructor you’d like to learn from. Either way is fine. If you do have someone in mind, take their workshop even if that means waiting a little longer for it. It’s always worth it with an instructor you really love. And if you don’t have anyone in mind, do a little research on a few and see who you’d learn best from.

Pick a date – If you are about to take your very first ever art workshop, we don’t recommend signing up for it the day before. First of all, workshops fill up quickly! Also, you need to allow yourself enough time to get your supplies ready.

2.    Getting your supplies ready

Start early – Don’t stress yourself out by getting supplies together last minute. Plan ahead so you can get everything you need and hopefully find some great deals on supplies (Keeton’s has a huge Super Saturday sale every month!).

Get your supplies list – When you register for your workshop, you should also receive a supplies list. Hold on to that so you know exactly what you need.

See what you have – You don’t need to run out and buy all new supplies (but if you do, please make Keeton’s your first stop 😉 ). Go through your art room first. We know you have a ton of supplies hidden there.

Ask for help – If your supply list looks like a foreign language to you, bring it into Keeton’s and just ask us to look over it with you. We’ll show you exactly what you need.

3.    Transportation

Supply storage – So once you have all your supplies, it’s time to figure out how to get them there. Make sure you have storage bins, a rolling travel bag or cart, and anything else to safely transport your supplies to the workshop.

Brush storage – Be careful with those brushes!! Please do not just throw them in with everything else. Keep them happy in a special brush carrier (we have those at Keeton’s).

Finished project – Also consider how you’ll get your finished project home. How big is it? Will it be dry or still wet? This is so important to think about because you don’t want to mess anything up on the way home.

4.    Other things to bring

Food – A great question to ask before your art workshop is if food will be included. Some of the workshops we do here include a lunch which is typically subs. Make sure you know the time frame of the workshop, if there will be any breaks, and whether or not food will be provided.

Water – It never hurts to bring a bottle of water with you.

Extra money – Just in case you are missing a few supplies, bring some extra cash so you can pick it up in the store without missing an important lesson.

Notebook and pen – Trust us when we say you WILL want to take some notes!

5.    How to act

Get there early – First of all, you’ll want to grab a spot that you feel most comfortable. Also, strolling in late can disrupt the workshop. Strive to get there 15 minutes early.

Turn off your phone – This is not only a distraction to you but to everyone else in the workshop including the instructor.

Zip your mouth – We know you probably have a ton of questions but please don’t talk over the instructor. The other students also paid money to hear what he or she has to say!

Take notes – You’ll want this valuable information to take to your artwork later on so make sure to jot down all the details and instructions. You won’t be sorry for doing it.

6.    After the workshop

Relax – When you get home from your art workshop just chill out or the rest of the day. You have learned so much and probably have a million ideas flowing. That’s great! Write those down and then give your brain a rest. You want to start fresh the next day and not overwork yourself.

Sign up for the next workshop (but not right away) – You probably want to get registered for the very next workshop you can since you had so much fun, right? But you don’t want to overload yourself. Give yourself time to practice what you’ve learned and then choose a workshop in the future on a new skill.

Finish or make changes to your piece – You can always go back into your piece created in the art workshop and play around with it. Make it your own!

Keep in touch with other artists – Did you make some new artist friends in the workshop? Keep in contact with them! Meet up for lunch, plan artsy parties, exchange ideas and go on art supply shopping sprees together.

As you can see, there’s a lot that goes into planning to attend an art workshop. You don’t have to take all of these steps though. You can just wing it and go from there! But if you’re serious about taking your art to the next level, put some serious thought into the art workshops you take. Look at them as if you’re in a college class getting your degree. Of course it will be much more fun than that but really get focused and give it your all!

We want to know- Have you taken an art workshop? What was your experience like?

How To Get The Best Deals On Art Supplies

By Nicole Tinkham


Art supplies can be pricey. Let us rephrase that. Quality art supplies can be pricey but they make all the difference in your artwork. You really do get what you pay for. We heard you out about the struggles of affording the supplies needed for your numerous projects which is why we put together this blog to help you get the absolute best deals on art supplies possible. Read on for the inside scoop of the best day of week, time of month, and times of the year that you can make the most out of an art shopping spree.

Best day of the week

We’re going to let you in on a little secret. Our art department is filled with quality art supplies on sale every single day. Seriously, just about every single item is marked down on a daily basis. So when it comes to the best day of the week to buy art supplies, can we just keep it simple and say every day??

Best time in the month

Once a month (usually mid-month) Keeton’s hosts a Super Saturday Sale. This event includes select items with a huge markdown plus a 40% off coupon that you can use toward any single item not already on sale. Most of the time, the items on sale relate to the free demo also featured on the sale day. We bring in a talented artist for a few hours to provide free tips and tricks that anyone can use in their artwork. These sales are more like events that you won’t want to miss.

Best time in the year

The BIGGEST sale of the year that we have here at Keeton’s is the Saturday after Thanksgiving. It’s similar to our monthly Super Saturday sales but is a much bigger sale. This is when you can get the best deals on art kits which make perfect gifts for the holidays as well as our most popular items (like Arches watercolor paper).

Throughout the year, we’ll also have quick 2 day sales for various holidays so watch your email for updates on those!

In addition to the sales hosted here in our Bradenton location, we also like to show up at popular events such as the Florida Watercolor Society Annual tradeshow. We bring a ton of our favorite supplies with us and offer them at great prices. Check our event calendar to see upcoming events and sign up for the Nook emails to receive updates right to your inbox.

We love working with artists, getting them the supplies they want at a good price. That’s why we always offer discount prices and special sales throughout the year. We don’t want a lack of supplies to hold you back from your next masterpiece! If you’re one of our non-local fans, just give us a call at 941-747-2995 and we will do our best to get you what you need.

A Step-By-Step Guide to Moving Your Crafts

guest blog
Photo via Pixabay

You enjoy crafting. You often draw sketches, make paintings, engage in pottery, and knit scarves. You can’t imagine moving your entire craft room. The time, however, has come to move. You aren’t sure where to start.

Follow these six steps to packing, moving, and unpacking your craft room. Whether you’re moving to another home, or simply moving upstairs, you’ll be happy with the results.

1.    Organize Your Belongings

The first step is, of course, to organize your belongings. Crafts, artwork, and supplies are often strewn about in a haphazard manner. With garage sales and nearby craft stores, it can be easy to bring home far more than you actually use. Take this time to go through your supplies and determine what you actually need to keep. Bekins has a great article that can help you downsize and organize your craft room before the big move. You can also learn about de-cluttering your art room through Shiny Happy World.

2.    Contact a Professional

It’s never a good idea to go through this process alone. Contact a professional to learn more about moving your artwork and supplies. At the very least, you should ask your family and friends for assistance. The more stressed and overwhelmed you are, the more mistakes you could make. Mistakes when moving a craft room could end with something important breaking. Since you obviously don’t want this to happen, don’t allow yourself to get overwhelmed or stressed. Ask for help. According to The Card Castle, communication is key throughout this process. Keep that in mind as you move forward.

3.    Obtain Necessary Equipment

You’ll need a number of items before you can begin packing. Carrying cases, organizers, packing tape, shipping supplies, bubble wrap, packing paper, cardboard, and packing peanuts are just a few of the many pieces of equipment you’ll need to get started. Learn about the function of each piece of equipment and make sure you are using everything properly. You don’t want anything to break before you’ve even started moving.

4.    Move Piece By Piece

If you have multiple pieces of artwork to pack in boxes, take it piece by piece. Don’t try to multitask, or something could get unnecessarily damaged. Instead, set up a table or floor space for wrapping. You can also use a countertop. Whatever you choose, make sure the space is large enough for your heftiest piece of artwork. You’ll want help during this part of the process. It can be difficult to wrap artwork alone.

5.    Hire Experienced Movers

You are trusting these professionals with your entire craft room – including all of your supplies and artwork (unless you choose to move certain pieces in your personal vehicle). Make sure you hire a company that truly cares about your belongings. Some companies only care about getting the job done and going home. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and speak with managers at moving companies until you feel you’ve gotten it right. Some moving sites will allow you to compare labor prices, so keep that in mind as well.

6.    Unpack ASAP

As soon as the moving process is over, begin unpacking your artwork and supplies. High or low temperatures can affect your belongings. You also don’t want to find out several days too late that a packet of paints has exploded on your favorite sketchbook. As you unpack, consider this a new opportunity to organize your craft room. Brit + Co recently published an article that can help you come up with useful, fun ideas for your new space.

Moving the artwork and supplies within your craft room can be nerve wracking. However, if you make the process organized, fun, and flawless, you’ll be grateful for the experience.

Author: Aimee Lyons

Aimee Lyons loves crafting, refurbishing furniture, remodeling rooms, and landscaping. She is passionate about DIY projects and sharing tips about them. Aimee runs DIYDarlin, which provides DIY project resources and tutorials.

Think Your Old Markers Are Trash? Think Again! Here Are 4 Tricks To Reviving Dried Markers

By Nicole Tinkham


How many times have you ditched old markers because they weren’t writing as clearly as they were on day #1? It’s so easy to trash the old and run out to buy new. In fact, we often don’t think twice about it. But what if we told you that with a quick and simple trick you could revive those old markers and save yourself money as well as time? Before you ditch those old markers, read on for 4 tricks to reviving them!

1.    Wet the tip of the marker under a slow stream of water. Wrap the tip in plastic wrap and place the cap back on. Let it sit for a few hours and then test it out.

2.    Heat water to just about boiling and let it sit for a few minutes in a glass cup or bowl to allow it to cool slightly. Place the whole tip of the marker in the warm water for about 5 minutes. You should start to see the ink running from the tip of the marker into the water. Shake off the excess water, put the lid back on, and let it dry for 24 hours before testing it out.

3.    Pour some white vinegar into a small dish and quickly dab the tip of the marker into the vinegar. You don’t want to hold it in there for long as it could ruin your marker. Keep dipping it in and quickly removing it. Do this about 5-10 times. You’re basically cleaning the marker felt. Let it set out to dry for 24 hours without the cap before testing it.

4.    Pour a little bit of rubbing alcohol into the cap or separate dish. Soak the tip of the marker in the alcohol until you see the ink flowing out of the marker. Put the cap of the marker back on and let it dry for 15 minutes before testing it out.

Tips for storing markers

•    Store markers in a cool dry place
•    Storing markers with the tip face down is ideal
•    For the Florida folks (or anyone else in a hot climate), you can store your markers in the fridge
•    Secure lids after every use
•    For dual sided markers, store horizontally

Next time your old markers are about to take a nose dive right into the dumpster, stop and just try one of these tricks to reviving dried markers. You have a 50/50 shot of it working but since these hacks don’t take much time or effort, why not try it out? It’ll save you money (who knows how much longer you can get out of that marker now!) and the time it takes to run out to the store just hoping they have your favorite marker available.

We would love to know, have any of these tips (or some of your own not mentioned in this blog) helped with your dried out markers? Please comment below!

7 Tools every artist should have

It doesn’t matter if you’re a watercolor artist, oil painter, pastel guru, or have a passion for drawing. Forget about whether your’e a beginner, professional, or just like to get creative now and then. No matter what you’re into, there are certain art supplies that you and EVERY artist should have on hand. There’s no need to go overboard on supplies in an area you don’t work in often but it is important to have a few basic tools just in case a project calls for it! Here are the 7 tools to have in your studio:

(click image to enlarge)

Have something to add to the list? Comment below and let us know what it is and why it’s important!

A clean office in 8 easy steps

By Nicole Tinkham


Did you know that 57% of workers admit to judging co-workers based on the cleanliness of their work area? Even if this fact doesn’t terrify you just a little bit, getting organized increases productivity and leaves you feeling less stressed. Can’t go wrong with that! One thing that often holds people back from spring cleaning in the office is where to begin. Things get so stacked up that just looking at the mess makes you want to throw in the towel. Don’t give up just yet! We have some killer tips on getting your office in tip top shape. Read on!

1.    Make the time

First thing’s first, make TIME for a good cleaning session. The last thing you want to do is leave your desk torn apart at the end of the day. Allow yourself plenty of time to get the job done by starting first thing in the morning. That way if you do happen to be interrupted you have a whole day to get back at it. Here are a few things we recommend doing:

•    Schedule the time in your calendar and set a reminder in your phone.

•    Let everyone in the office know what you’re doing to prevent interruptions.

•    Have a goal in mind of exactly what you plan to accomplish.

•    If you have an enormous mess in front of you, schedule spring cleaning over multiple days. Just know ahead of time your goals for each day.

•    Create a to-do list of areas that need to be organized.

•    Identify the problem areas of the office and tackle them first.

•    Set reminders throughout the day to take 5 minute breathers so you don’t drive yourself insane.

•    Know ahead of time the tools you’ll need (desk organizer, sticky notes, file folders, etc.) and have them ready to go.

•    Get yourself pumped up! Have a positive attitude when going into it and it really won’t be that bad.

2.    Toss old paperwork

If you have a pile of paperwork lying on your desk without any type of organization whatsoever, this would be a great place to start. Begin with what’s on top of your desk and work your way to the drawers. Deciding what to keep and what to trash can be difficult. As you go through stacks of papers, ask yourself the following questions to determine whether or not the document has seen its last day.

•    How often do I reference this document?

•    Do I really need it? What do I need it for?

•    When I do need it, where would I look for it?

Note: Some documents may need to be shredded so keep that in mind before tossing everything straight into the trash can.

3.    Make a paper system

Now that we’ve ditched unnecessary paperwork, it’s time to create a system for the documents that we’re keeping. Want to avoid doing this whole process over again next year? Then listen up because this is crucial! You’ll need some sort of organization for paperwork. It could be hanging file folders, stacked trays, wall files, or desktop sorters. Make sure to label each section with “to do”, “to read”, “to file” and so on. Be clear and specific when labeling.

4.    Separate your supplies by usage

Still working on the top of your desk, take a look at the supplies sitting on your desktop and ask yourself if you use these supplies on a daily basis. If the answer is yes, keep it close by. Most of the time these items include pens and pencils (in a pen cup), tape dispenser, stapler, calculator, Post-it Notes, and of course your phone and computer. Anything else can go in one of your desk drawers. For small items in a drawer, consider a drawer organizer like this one. It’s great for binder clips, paper clips, rubber bands, tacks, correction tape, and more.

5.    Create zones

If you needed to perform a pretty serious organization session this season, we’re guessing you don’t have set “zones” in your area. You may not even know what a zone entails. Each area of your workspace should be designated for certain tasks. The first thing you must question is how you will use the space. What type of work will you be performing in the office? Your computer could be a zone in itself. Other zones could include a library for research, filing cabinet for documents, and storage for supplies. This will help you use your space more wisely.

6.    Disinfect

Just because you can now see your desk doesn’t mean it’s clean! After clearing off the surface, it’s important to disinfect. Wipes are great to have close by so you can quickly wipe off your desk, computer, keyboard, phone, and anything else that collects dust and germs.

7.    Tackle your computer

You’ve totally organized your desk, drawers, paperwork, and supplies. You completely cleaned everything right down to the keys on your keyboard. But there’s one more thing that needs to be organized. It’s the thing you probably use the most and the majority of people forget about it. Your COMPUTER! As with your actual desk, start with your computer desktop. Do you even know what your background looks like or is it covered with icons? The items that require quick access should stay on your desktop and everything else should be moved to your documents in properly labeled folders. This goes for your inbox as well!
Remember: As you delete files, they pile up in your recycling bin. Empty it out when you’re finished!

8.    Maintain

Next time you clean in the office, it won’t take you nearly as much time if you do this one KEY thing: maintenance! Here’s what you need to do when it comes to maintenance and how often it needs to be done.

Every day: De-clutter your desktop. Chances are you have at least one project lying on your desk at the end of the day along with a few notes here and there. Tidy up 5 minutes before leaving for the day and make sure everything is put back in its designated place.

Every week: Check supplies and wipe down desk. At the end of the week check your supplies and make a list of items to order on Monday. There’s nothing worse than having an empty box of staples when you’re fresh out. It’s also the perfect time to wipe down your desk with disinfectant to get rid of those gross germs!

Every month: Quickly go through your paperwork. As time goes on, it’s inevitable that you’ll gather more stuff. If you’re running out of room in the filing cabinet or on the bookshelf, it’s time to get rid of a few things. Limit yourself to only a certain amount of space so clutter doesn’t make it’s way back to the top of your desk.

Every year: Clean. Do a more thorough job once a year. As long as you maintain throughout the year, this won’t be nearly as bad as the initial cleaning session. Here’s your opportunity to see what’s working well and what isn’t. Try a new organization system if you need to! Sometimes all it takes is a little experimenting to get it right.

We now leave the dirty work up to you! If you run into any difficulties that come up along the way, feel free to comment below or shoot over a question on our Facebook or Twitter page. We’d be happy to help in any way we can. Just remember that all this hard work pays off in the end. What will you do with the extra time you’ll be saving by not having to dig through endless piles of paperwork? Oh the possibilities…