Featured Artist

Featured Artist: Loveleigh Loops

For the rest of July, we are focusing a little more on our brush pens and brush style lettering here at Marker Supply. (For more info on the types of brush markers we carry, see our previous blog post, Overview of Brush Markers.)

We LOVE featuring talented folks here on the Marker Supply Blog, and for this month we are happy to introduce you to some fantastic brush lettering artists- Jordan and Jillian of Loveleigh Loops!

LoveleighLoops-225*Photo by Knack Creative

Creative crafters and calligraphers since childhood, these twin sisters love designing various lettering projects themselves, as well as teaching others how to develop their own talent.

Something that helped get you started was a calligraphy class when you were kids. Was there any advice from that class that stood out so well you can still remember it today now that you are teaching lettering yourselves?

“We took our very first calligraphy class when we were 11 years old and absolutely loved it! The style we learned then is different from what we do today but we still remember the most important thing from the class: to have patience and go slowly. That is one of the biggest things that we stress today when we teach our students. It is tempting to skip ahead to the fancy stuff or to compare your work to the work of someone who has been doing calligraphy for years, but it is even more important to start with the basics. Calligraphy is a beautiful art, but it is incredibly difficult to master.”

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*Photo/Lettering by Loveleigh Loops
Made using the Sakura Micron Pens and the Zig Fudebiyori Brush Markers

What makes you different from other calligraphers and letterers?

“There are so many talented lettering artists out there, but we think that our business is truly unique because there are two of us. We are able to bounce ideas off of each other. The best way to continue learning is by teaching, and we are always showing each other new techniques and skills. We have also each mastered our own style, so we can do anything from playful to formal. We also use a lot of different tools, such as embossing and gold foil, to provide our clients with a greater variety. Our students appreciate that there are two of us during our workshops because it allows for more robust learning experience since they receive individual attention, even while one of us is at the front of the room instructing.”

LoveleighLoops-211*Photo by Knack Creative

What are some places or things you commonly find inspiration from for your lettering quotes and designs?

“Lettering challenges on Instagram have always been close to our hearts, because that is how we really got started on Instagram. It is a great way to gain confidence in sharing your work, and you immediately become part of an amazing community that inspires and supports you. Many challenges have a daily quote or some other theme. We love these challenges because you spend less time deciding what to write, and more time creating! It is also neat to see others’ interpretations of the same quote.”

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*Photos/Lettering by Loveleigh Loops
Made using the Zig Fudebiyori Metallic Markers and Zig Art & Graphic Twin Markers

Are there any memorable jobs or projects you’ve done in the lettering world that were particularly fun? Any extra challenging ones?

“Both of us did all of the calligraphy for our own weddings, which gave our special days an even more special touch. One of the most memorable projects that we did was an obituary. The client was so appreciative of our work and treasured the piece, and her gratitude reminded us why we do what we do. The most challenging projects have been those on non-traditional surfaces, such as wine glasses and t-shirts. We love learning new techniques, so it’s always fun to try something new!”

 To see more of Loveleigh Loops’ work, check out their gallery HERE, or visit them on Instagram and Facebook!

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TOOLS OF THE TRADE

Out of all the lettering tools out there, which types do you prefer using and why? Have your tastes in tools changed as your skills have grown?

“Our tastes in tools have changed significantly since we first started. The class we originally took was with a chisel tipped pen, and since then we have learned how to use pointed pen, brush pen, and related tools like waterbrushes. These days, Jillian prefers watercolor brush lettering with a paint brush because it forces her to be patient and enjoy the art, and the color blends are exquisite. Jordan is drawn to the mathematics behind copperplate calligraphy and tends to spend her time with the pointed pen and ink, especially gold ink.”

LoveLoops-goldinkquote*Photos by Loveleigh Loops

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This color chart was made using the Kuretake Gansai Tambi Starry Colors paints. Enjoy these beautiful gold pigment ink colors with paintbrushes, waterbrushes, or calligraphy nibs!
Find them HERE in the Marker Supply store!

Any specific tools you would recommend a beginner to start with? What features make them beginner-friendly?

“We recommend that beginners interested in learning calligraphy start with brush pens, and eventually progress to pointed pen.  The Zig Art & Graphic Twin pens are great for those starting out (and we still use them!) because they have the perfect amount of flexibility. Our favorite small-tip brush pen for beginners is the Pentel Sign Brush Pen because of the “juiciness” and color selection. Once a beginner understands the basic strokes, shade placement, and other fundamental concepts of the script, they can move on to more advanced supplies. We also advocate starting with brush pens because they are more affordable and much less messy than dip-pens. You can easily throw a brush pen in your bag and practice on the go!”

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Try these recommended tools for yourself!
Find both the Zig Art & Graphic Twin and the Pentel Sign Pen w/Brush Tip here at Marker Supply.

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LEARN WITH LOVELEIGH LOOPS

LoveleighLoops-282*Photo by Knack Creative

Interested in learning more about calligraphy and brush lettering styles?

There are several useful guides available to purchase and instantly download HERE at Loveleigh Loops’ online store so you can get started right away at your own pace!

Prefer some in-person instruction? Loveleigh Loops will be hosting several brush lettering workshops this summer, including one here in Nashville on July 25th at our sister company store, Paper & Ink Arts! Come on by for some “loveleigh” lettering lessons!

Click here for more information about their Brush Lettering Workshop at Paper & Ink Arts!

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Thank you Jordan and Jillian for sharing your time and talents with us! We look forward to seeing what amazing things you do in the future! 🙂

Coloring Cards by Between the Evergreens

Greeting cards are fun to give your friends & family for special occasions, or any time.. just because!

While attending RAW: Nashville’s Holiday Rawk Artist Showcase this week, we came across artist Elizabeth Lang & her company between the evergreens.

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Elizabeth not only does wonderful watercolor paintings & artwork featuring various trees, but she also makes some really awesome greeting cards- that you can color yourself!

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Whether you want to be the one to color them OR if you’d rather give them as gifts for others to color, Marker Supply has some great markers to use with these cardstock cards.

We chose to color her “Sweetbay Magnolia” card with the Zig Clean Color Real Brush markers..

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With the real bristle brush tip, it feels like you’re painting! The very tip of the brush gets in the tiniest of spaces, or you can angle the brush to color larger spots. Try using multiple colors- the ink is very easy to blend.

(Note: If you have a card made with watercolor paper, you can add a little water on top of the Clean Color’s dye-based ink and move it around- creating a watercolor look!)

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MORE MARKERS TO TRY FOR CARDS..

Our other marker recommendations for cards, depending on what tip you like to color with:

*Bullet/Round tipZig WriterSakura Gelly Roll Gel Pens

*Slanted/Chisel tipZig Fine & Chisel, Sakura Permapaque

*Rubber brush tipZig Brushables, Sakura KOI

*Colored pencils: Prismacolor Premier Pencils, Faber Castell Polychromos

*or browse through some more at www.markersupply.com!

(Note: Use caution if you like to do your coloring with alcohol-based (like Prismacolor or Copic) or other permanent ink markers (like Sharpies)- the marks will likely bleed through to the other side of cardstock papers!)

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For more information on the art by ELang and between the evergreens greeting cards, check out:

*Her WEBSITE

*Her ETSY STORE

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And as always, feel free to share photos of your colored greeting cards on our social media!
@MarkerSupply #MarkerSupply

Featured Artist: @SignJay

We’re wrapping up chalk markers and chalkboard month at Marker Supply with another featured artist!!

Aside from party boards (as featured in our blog about LA Sign Design), and the countless chalk marker projects you can do at home (some of which highlighted in our last blog), another big area that you may notice the art of chalkboard signs is in stores and restaurants! Windows, displays, grocery departments, event posters, menus, and more can have such a nice appeal to customers after they’ve been decorated with chalk markers!!

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We Markerland folks are always very impressed by the talented people behind those signs, and we are excited to feature a chalkboard sign artist who is very active in doing store display and event poster chalkboards!

post7signsSome amazing work done by Rachel- a.k.a. @SignJay

Rachel Humiston is from Richmond, VA and has been doing professional chalkboard signs since 2008.

“I got a job as a sign artist at Trader Joe’s. I didn’t have any experience- I actually had just graduated with a math degree, but I wanted to do well so I threw all my energy into practicing and improving. I didn’t know at the time I would make a career of it, but it is a practical kind of art form and in retrospect- that fits my personality perfectly!

The first piece I ever did was a 24 x 41 inch display for roasted red pepper and tomato soup and some crackers at Trader Joe’s. I still remember sitting on the floor drawing and re-writing the layout trying to make all of the information fit. It took days but thankfully I had a very patient boss who had faith and I got the hang of it. Eight years later we are still a team and I’m very grateful!”

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RACHEL’S RECENT WORKS

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“I actually finished the largest piece I have done to date just this week! It was a series of different size frames covering an area of approximately 11 x 12 feet for an event called Creative Marketplace where local artists and makers come together to connect and share their wares with the community. I’ve done a couple murals that were physically larger but this was the largest typography design thus far.”

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 SOME CHALKBOARD ART TIPS FROM RACHEL

“The projects I take on usually require a lot of information in a relatively small space, so the toughest part of the process is finding creative solutions to dividing up the text so it is both easy to read and also beautiful.
Once I have a good design, the rest is pure fun!”

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Getting started:
“I typically start by looking at my source materials- packaging, logos, etc. and visualize some ideas in my head first. Then I will do 2 or 3 very loose thumbnail sketches, to make sure I have enough room for all of my elements, and select the best layout. The sketches are comically simple because I’ve found that fine-tuning is best done on the actual board. I’ll then do the sketch on the board and move things around as necessary- this way I can see the design to scale. The exception is when you work menus- you need mathematical precision, so those sketches are much more in-depth.”

Correcting mistakes:
“If it’s a small mistake, I can correct it when I add the background color, outlines, and shadows by simply drawing over it. If it is something that needs to be completely changed, I use 91% isopropyl alcohol to clean the area. That sounds technical but it’s just the stuff you find in first aid kits. You can buy it just about anywhere- it’s inexpensive and works well. “

Working on chalkboards vs. glass:
“Chalkboards have some grit to them that helps to slow down the marker and gives more control. The smoothness of glass means the marker moves fast and loose. It also affects how I hold the pen- on chalkboards I rest my arm and wrist on the board for stability, but with glass the marker is the only thing that can touch. The surface I prefer working on is chalk boards, but if I’m working on glass I will lean towards script fonts- as their flow is more conducive to the surface.”

Spacing tips:
“Draw rectangles around the rounded letters like “O” or “D”- it makes it easier to compare the corners to see if they are even. Invest in a clear drafting ruler that is divided into grid- it will change your life!”

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CHALK MARKERS : RACHEL’S PICKS
(and some suggestions from us!)

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“I am a huge Woodcraft marker devotee- the opacity, vibrancy, and ease with which you can do multiple coats cannot be beat! They are incredibly versatile and can be used on so many surfaces. I use a ton of Gardenia, a lovely warm white. I use the chisel tip and the Big & Broad size in equal measure.
The Woodcraft markers are actually quite permanent even without sealing them. I have interior signs that have been up for 8 years under fluorescent lighting and they have not faded, chipped, or cracked!

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More recently I’ve expanded to the Uni Poscas in the 1, 3 and 5m sizes because they are perfect for crisping up the edges of the letters, great for outlining, and they work great over or under the Woodcraft markers.”

If you are looking to do some art for a store, restaurant, etc., we have what you need at Marker Supply! Try these special sets that might help you get started:


chalk markersZig Posterman Starter Sets come in 3 different sizes and each feature Zig Posterman markers in a variety of colors and tip sizes for you to try, as well as a great chalkboard cleaning tool- the Scrubs do-it-all wipes!

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Perfect little starter packs of the Zig Woodcraft Markers, the Food Menu Sets feature colors specifically picked to match a different food group theme!

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Thanks again to Rachel for sharing your work and advice with us!
Check out Rachel’s Instagram to see more of her amazing chalk marker art!!

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**ALL CHALK ART PHOTOS ON THIS BLOG ARE COPYRIGHT TO RACHEL HUMISTON and we are thankful for her letting us use them to show off her talent! 🙂

Have any chalk marker artwork that you’d like to share? Tag us #MarkerSupply – we’d love to see!!!

 

Featured Artist: LA Sign Design

We are very excited about Marker Supply’s newest featured artist – Lacey at LA Sign Design!

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“My main passion is to keep the art of handwriting and cursive alive in the most creative ways possible.
I love technology but nothing beats handmade, in my opinion.
” –Lacey @ LA Sign Design

Lacey is the owner/artist behind her business, LA Sign Design, that creates a number of incredible chalk marker art projects- from store advertisements, to event posters, to menus, to our highlight of this blog: PARTY BOARDS!!

Handmade boards done with chalk markers are becoming more & more popular at birthdays, weddings, and other special events as a fun and unique way to decorate and display information to the guests!

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We asked Lacey some questions about her work as a chalkboard artist, specifically in the area of doing boards for special occasions:

How long have you been making chalk art boards for parties?
Professionally, since 2012, but I have loved to doodle since I could hold a crayon.

What objects do you use for your actual boards?
Mainly old wood-framed pictures I up-cycle into chalkboards. I purchase the picture frames from the local Savers or Goodwill, thrift sales, & auctions. I also cut sanded plywood in custom sizes for a variety of different projects.

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Are there surfaces that are easier or more difficult to draw on than others?
Since most my work is freehand, learning to write straight & evenly spaced on an already mounted chalkboard or surface is probably the most difficult to master. I create artwork on glass as well-this can be slippery & really test ones hand steadiness.

How big are your average-size boards and how long do they take to finish?
My mini chalkboards are popular as 8 x 10 inch picture frames. I’ve also created wedding programs that are 4 x 4 foot & photo-op standees that are 7 feet tall! Most signage only requires 1-2 hours of work (Prep, design, sketches, art, touch-ups, seal coat) but is determined more by the amount of writing & special designs required.

What do you use on top of a finished board to seal & protect it?
To really make a board last I offer my clients the option to seal coat with either a Matte or Gloss finish Mod Podge. Sealing is a great idea to preserve the ink from fading and really makes the writing stand out against the black chalkboard.

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BIRTHDAY BOARDS

Birthday chalkboards are stand-out party decor for kids AND adults of any age! Not only are they fun for the party itself, but they can remain treasured keepsakes to remember the event well into the future! Fill them with information from life at the present moment, and then you can always have a look back to your “time capsule sign!”

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We LOVE these colorful and customized kids birthday signs by LA Sign Design!!
(and congrats on the recent Blue-Ribbon-Win!)

You can also make chalkboard signs for different areas & activities at your party-
facepainting chalkcraft-busyboard

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WEDDING BOARDS

An elegant way to decorate for a couple’s big day!!

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Even simply using just white ink on a black chalkboard can still make beautiful pieces to introduce the wedding party, display the menu options, or have as backdrops for photos!

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“Wedding signage is becoming a fast trend and the markers seriously make all the difference on the big day. Brides are always so relieved to learn my “chalk” is actually water-proof & smudge-proof unlike regular chalk. I always have the option of Chalk Ink markers which are no-mess and dust-free in case they need the signage to be temporary. Doing the wedding program on a large chalkboard or refinished door is becoming super popular and cost effective compared to printing programs.” -Lacey @ LA Sign Design

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colorwheelLacey’s favorite marker picks:colorwheel

*Zig Posterman Medium and Big & Broad
*Uni Posca Fine, Medium, and Broad
*Sharpie Poster Paint Fine and Medium

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Sharpie Poster Paint (water-based) is the best marker I’ve found for white, red, and yellow colors. The pigment lasts and covers well over black surfaces. I like using Posterman and Sharpie markers so my chalkboard artwork is already smudge-proof & water-proof but not chemical-proof (ink can be removed with Windex). Postermans also work great on glass indoors & outdoors. Chalk ink (ex. Posterman Wet-Wipe) markers work perfect for a surface that needs to be reused or edited easily. The liquid chalk can be wiped clean with water and best part is no chalk dust!

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Lacey’s advice to those interested in chalk marker art:

“Make mistakes, fix them, & create some more!
My skills continue to develop over time with practice, studying new techniques, & faith in my freehand ability.

 If you are not as sure about your freehand skills, but really want to create a chalkboard sign, use this neat trick:
1. Find a quote, picture, or design online [or create one in Word] and print it off to fit your chalkboard.
2. Use a No.2 Pencil & cover the backside of this printed off picture with pencil.
3. Tape the paper to the chalkboard.
4. Use pencil to now trace pressing firmly over the quote & transfer the pencil from the backside to the board.
5. Remove paper & reveal a light outline of exactly where you need to color!”

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Thanks so much to Lacey for all of the insights into her chalkboard world! Keep up the good work!!

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To contact Lacey or see more of her artwork, check out her webpage HERE!
She also occasionally has giveaways for FREE mini chalkboards! Fun!!

©  ALL PHOTOS ARE COPYRIGHTED TO LA SIGN DESIGN.
Marker Supply appreciates her letting us use them in the blog!!

Featured Artist: My Perk Me Up Cup

Marker Supply has encountered a variety of amazing artists over the years! We’re very happy and thankful to have so many loyal customers that love creating art with our markers.

To help highlight the works of these talented folks and the drawing tools they use, we are excited to have a series of Featured Artists here in the Marker Supply Blog!

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Artist: Samantha @ My Perk Me Up Cup
Project: Painted glass & dishware
Products: Pebeo Porcelaine 150 and Vitrea 160 Markers
One of our favorite Pebeo-painting mug artists is Samantha at My Perk Me Up Cup. She creates custom mugs with a LARGE variety of free-hand designs including characters, colors, and clever couples’ sets!  Her work is a great example that whether your pieces are simple or elaborate, done as a business or a hobby, they will stand out either way as being special & unique works of art!

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Samantha has been awesome enough to share with us some insight into her craft- about the markers she uses, as well as some tips and techniques:

What made you decide to get started with this mug-making hobby?
I saw a dragonfly mug on a TV show that I was watching, and fell in love with it, but could not find one like it anywhere. After searching everywhere for it, I found that it was a prop from a different TV show and they are not sold anywhere. I really wanted a dragonfly mug after all of my searching, but couldn’t find anything that I liked. So I thought to myself, maybe I could make one. And it took off from there.

You’ve got such a variety of designs! Do you have any favorites? Which have been the trickiest to paint?
I have enjoyed making each mug so far! They have mostly been special requests, but I would have to say I love the dragonfly ones the best.
I would have to say the watercolor horse mug that was requested was the trickiest to paint.

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How do you prepare your mug surfaces before painting?
I wash the mug with soap and water first and then wipe the mug with a paper towel and alcohol to ensure a clean workspace.

Which markers are your go-to choices for mug decorating?
I really like using Pebeo 150 ceramic paint markers. I find myself using the black fine tip marker most frequently. The fine tip markers are great for detail and writing names or phrases on the mugs. If I am painting a larger area I prefer to use the medium tip. I have used both [the Pebeo Porcelaine 150 and Pebeo Vitrea 160] and found that they both worked fairly well on glass. I have just noticed that you may have to go over your work once or twice with the 160 markers to make the colors pop.

You’ve also used Sharpie Oil-based paint markers for decorating.. How would you compare them to the Pebeo pens?
The Sharpie Oil-based paint markers are slightly easier to work with, but if you want to microwave or put your work in the dishwasher, some of the colors do not hold up. The black Sharpie’s paint started to crack after going through the microwave.

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Do you use any other tools to create special effects?
To get the water color effect I dipped a cotton ball into alcohol, then I pressed the Pebeo marker down until it released a small amount of paint. I dabbed it where I wanted the color, and also blew through a straw lightly as I dabbed the paint on the mug to spread the paint out.

If you make any mistakes while painting your designs, how do you erase and redo those spots?
Pebeo paints are so forgiving if you make a mistake. All I do is dip a Q-tip in alcohol and clean up the area. I have a two-year-old who climbs on me while I am working half of the time, so I had to learn this quickly.

About how long does it take you to finish decorating a mug?
The amount of time it takes to finish a mug depends on the design I’m doing. Some mugs have only taken me about 5 minutes to do, and others have taken me an hour or two. You have to let the mug dry 24 hours before baking, and then follow the baking instructions. You may need to adjust your baking time or temperature slightly, some appliances can vary.

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Have you had any issues with the finished artwork coming off when the mug is used/washed?
I have not had any issues at all with the Pebeo paint coming off when used, microwaved, or washed. The main issues that I have had was the black Sharpie paint chipping, and the gold fading after going through the dishwasher and microwave. I made a test mug with all of the colors of the Pebeo, Sharpie, and Painted by Me brands to test how the colors held up through various types of washing and going through the microwave. Through doing this I found out that you should not use dish soap with bleach because it will clean your work off of your mug.

Any other tips or tricks you have learned from your experience with dish painting?
I enjoyed trying different surfaces to paint on. Definitely buy a few mugs and practice. I keep a paper towel handy when I am using the fine tip Pebeo markers, if they start to flow a bit too slow I just press down on the paper towel a few times to get the paint flowing again.

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Thanks for sharing your work and your knowledge with us, Samantha! 🙂

*Check out more of Samantha’s mugs HERE!*

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Do-it-yourself dish art is such a fun trend in the world of arts & crafts. Just take a plain ‘ol mug, plate, etc. and give it a unique design- great for personalizing your own items, or a wonderful gift idea!

Marker Supply always recommends using Pebeo Porcelaine 150 markers and paints for your dish designing. After being baked on in a regular kitchen oven, your artwork will be permanent- even through washing!

(See our related blog comparing the use of different markers on mugs!)

Try the Pebeo line of dish-decorating supplies at MarkerSupply.com!!
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Have any dish art that you’d like to share? We’d love to see!
*www.facebook.com/markersupply
*Instagram #MarkerSupply
*Twitter @MarkerSupply
*or EMAIL US!!