Friday, 8 December 2017

Gift Tags + Pretty Printed Paper

I do a holiday gift wrapping post pretty much every single year. I can't help it, I love to wrap gifts! As each holiday season approaches I begin to think about what sort of 'gift wrapping style' I want to employ. Should I do white on white? Paper ornament gift tags? Classic kraft paper and fresh greenery? (This is usually the option I settle on). I love anything simple and clean and classic.

This year I've printed my own papers and bags, and I've put my whole process on YouTube for you to follow along with. I've made it simpler than ever, so don't think you can't do this! (or don't have time). I've also created some hand painted gift tags for you to download and print. They're simple and woodsy and whimsical. I love them and I hope you do to! 

To print my gift tag designs for yourself, just click the link below.
Shayda's Hand Painted Gift Tags 2017

Watch the printed gift wrap tutorial now:

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Wish List Coloring Page

Hi, guys! Today I have another holiday freebie to share. This week it's a wintery Christmas wish list that you can can print and color. Write out your list, hang it on the fridge and hope someone happens by to read your stylishly subtle gift hints.

Initially, I printed my wish-list on regular computer paper (and had fun filling it in with pencil crayons) but then I tried printing it on watercolor paper and the result was awesome! If you don't have a printer that can handle a thicker paper like watercolor, try taking a piece of speciality paper to Staples and have them print the file for you. That's what I did, it cost me less than a dollar and I loved 'coloring' with watercolor paints. 

Get your Wish List Coloring Page here.

If you're wondering how a watercolor coloring page comes together, you can join me as I paint this one in next week's video. The Tuesday December 12th tutorial will be all about the Koi Watercolor Field Set from Sakura, and we'll use the waterbrush + watercolor pans set to complete this coloring page. Print the page now and paint along with me on Tuesday! 

What are you wishing for this Christmas? Chris and I aren't big on exchanging gifts, but that hasn't stopped me from dreaming of a pair of Glerups slipper booties (they are so cute!) 

And don't forget to download and print the winter botanical coloring pages that I released last week! It's so relaxing to sit down with a coloring page and listen to a podcast on a chilly winter evening. Happy Coloring!

Friday, 1 December 2017

Winter Botanicals Coloring Pages

I love December! It's the very best part of the winter season. The part with the first snow and all the twinkly lights and good-smelling evergreen trees. It's a special time of year. And I've only come to love it more over the past few years as our wedding anniversary falls in December. We were married on December 1st, 2012 and one of my favourite things about our winter wedding was incorporating all that lovely winter greenery (and sparkly lights) into our big day. And to spread my love of winter plants (does that sound odd?) I've prepared some seasonal colouring pages for you to download and print!

Every year I go just a tiny bit crazy over the seasonal cedars, pines and berries. Many of our neighbours have holly bushes and if it weren't for the cold, I'd be sneaking over in the night with a pair of clippers! I just love all the holiday boxwood and eucalyptus and luckily for me (and my neighbourhood), my florist has all of that in stock. 

So I've been busy smelling and illustrating all my fav seasonal sprigs. And this week our tutorial is centred around holiday greenery. As we complete our December calendar page, we'll illustrate different plants like holly and snowberries. Then we'll work those botanical illustrations into a wreath design and we'll finish our winter wreath with watercolours. If you don't want to illustrate your own wreath, no problem! This week you can paint along with me, just print out my wreath design on a piece of watercolour paper.  

You can also colour the winter greenery botanical illustration that I made, or print and colour your holiday cards this year using my greeting card design (from my 2017 holiday card tutorial). If you'd like to see the greeting card video, check it out on YouTube and paint along with me. 

Friday, 24 November 2017


Hey, guys! This is my 2017 holiday gift guide for the artist. These are products that I either use often or would absolutely love to get my hands on! In putting together this gift guide, I've tried to choose special products, items that you might not normally purchase for yourself, like an entire set of double tip Prismacolor art markers or a tin of 60 watercolor pencils from the elite art brand, Faber-Castell (anyone out there shopping for me this year?!) 

I've broken my list up into two categories, under $50 and over $50, so you can find something for every artist on your list. And of course, if you're the artist, you can discreetly send this page, complete with my gift guide video, to anyone who's shopping for you this Christmas. ;)

1. Koi Field Watercolor Set w/ Waterbrush
2. Large Hardcover Moleskin Sketchbook

Watch the gift guide video for product descriptions and to get in on a little amazon gift card giveaway- cuz we all have lots of holiday shopping to do! Thanks for reading and happy shopping.

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

A Watercolor Tutorial

You don't have to be a master artist to paint something pretty. Follow along with this week's tutorial and try painting two different types of eucalyptus with two different watercolour techniques. In this video I've broken down the popular watercolour techniques, wet on wet (or wet into wet) and wet on dry. 

Now two painting styles and two types of greenery may sound like a lot, but this tutorial is very straightforward. In under ten minutes you'll have an understanding of wet on wet and wet on dry, and then you can attempt them for yourself. 

The Silver Dollar eucalyptus sprig on the left was painted using a wet on wet technique. The final look is varied colour and pretty feathering. I always think of wet on wet as giving that real 'watercolor' look. 

The Argyle Apple eucalyptus sprig on the right was done with wet on dry. This style allows you a little bit more control, as you paint an initial layer, wait for it to dry, and then add detail later with more paint. Give the two techniques a try for yourself and see which you prefer!

Remember, it's all about developing your own style. Don't worry about 'getting it right'. Perfectly imperfect, that's my motto. Watch the video and don't forget to show me your work! Post on my FB page or tag me on Instagram.

Monday, 20 November 2017

Watercolor Winter Birds Tutorial

If you haven't seen the latest YouTube tutorial, we're illustrating and painting winter birds. In this tutorial we go over initial sketching and then use a wet on wet (or wet into wet) watercolor technique to add some color. Robins, cardinals and chickadees make lovely subjects for holiday cards or seasonal calendars. So here's some of my work, followed by the video tutorial.

Happy Painting! Check the channel this week for a new watercolor tutorial.

Monday, 1 May 2017

Cherry Blossom Mobile Wallpaper

We returned to Canada last Monday after a few weeks of glorious Australian sunshine, and much to our surprise and delight, spring had come early in our absence! Now, if you're Canadian, you know that this never happens. In fact, I think that most cold-weather-dwellers know a thing or two about tropical vacations: as a general rule, upon your return, the weather will be much, much colder than when you departed. It's just the way it goes. No one is going to escape the last few miserable moments of wicked winter with a quick getaway to Mexico. So when we stepped off our flight in flip-flops, in April, and it was actually warm-ish, it was just nothing short of delightful and amazing. 

And even more wonderful? The cherry blossoms are in bloom. We visited Toronto and had a chance to sit under the fluffy white and pink trees and marvel at springtime in Canada. What really got me was how many people come out just to look at the trees. It's something quite beautiful. All these people just visiting the flowers. Lovely. 

Of course, I couldn't help but take a zillion snaps of the blossoms. So to celebrate this early spring season, I'm releasing my favourite pics as mobile wallpaper. Download any (or all!) of the five images and use them as your new spring wallpaper on your phone. 

You can download the images by clicking the links below. Download the image on to your computer and then email the image to yourself, open the email on your phone and set as wallpaper. Or just visit on your phone and download the images direct to your device. 

So which one is your favourite? I can't pick, but I love number one and number three, and I think I'll use number three as my cell wallpaper, at least for now. Happy downloading! Here's hoping spring has sprung wherever you are!

Cherry Blossom Wallpaper Download

Click the link above to download your favourite wallpaper!

Saturday, 15 April 2017

How To Use Wax Seal Stamps

Hi, guys! I've just released my wax seal stamp tutorial on YouTube and I thought I'd post a few photos on the blog to go along with it. These waxes and stamps are my new favourite craft item, as they add such a sweet vintage touch to your hand lettered cards and envelops.

Stamps and seals are perfect for anyone who dabbles in modern calligraphy or anyone who just likes to send the occasional piece of snail mail. And you can order personalized stamps on Etsy, which makes this just the thing for wedding season!

All of the supplies that you see pictured here are from a small company called Uniqooo. They make a rainbow of colourful waxes and lots of classic stamp designs. My personal favourite stamps? The fleur-de-lis, the bumble bee and the pineapple. And of course, I need an 'S' for Shayda.

The wax seals will adhere to envelops very well, which means they're great for popping in the mail. But if you're preparing a large amount of cards and envelops, say for a wedding or shower, you can set the seals on wax paper en mass, and then peel them off and glue them to each envelop. Uniqooo makes wax sticks that fit in a small glue gun, and I think the glue gun method would be just the thing if you need to prepare a large amount of seals. 

Here's another snail mail tip: if you have access to an old stamp collection, use the outdated postage to adorn your letter. You'll need to use more than a couple of old stamps to add up to today's postage, and the result will be a cluster of colourful stamps that add a touch of vintage whimsy to your mail. Just make sure the stamps don't have a postmark on them- if they've already been used, even if it was a hundred years ago, they won't be accepted again!  

I hope you enjoyed the tutorial! If you'd like to enter my giveaway, I'm giving away a tree stamp and two wax sticks, head over to my Facebook page and find the giveaway photo.

Friday, 10 February 2017

Homemade Conversation Hearts

Happy Valentine's Month, to you! February is all about two things: love and candy. Now, I've said this before but I'll say it again, if you're anything like me, you celebrate Vday purely for the candy! So this week I'm showing you guys how to make conversation hearts at home. Yes, you can make these cute little guys in your very own kitchen! And they're not difficult to prepare; you don't even need a candy thermometer. Just round up your favourite candy flavourings and a whole lotta icing sugar, watch my video tutorial, and set to work.

The first time I made these, or any candy, really, at home, I was totally blown away. It's just so cool to be able to produce something as iconic as the Valentine's Day conversation hearts in your own kitchen. But truly, this is a fun and simple baking project, and you'll quickly learn that the old adage is true: candy is just sugar (and a tiney bit of colour!) but mostly just sugar. 

For the recipe and tutorial, check out my YouTube video: