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Shoulding Too Much? Try This

There is way too much shoulding happening in our days. Should I get the car an oil change.  Should I finish the paperwork that is due soon.  Should I make an appointment to get my gray hairs colored. I should this. I should that.  Perhaps you’ve got that long overwhelming list of things you should be doing right now.

There’s an antidote to all of this shoulding, a way to shake it off. Play.  The kind that has no shoulds involved.  No pressure to follow any rules. It doen’t have to be a single thing other than play.  If you’re feeling the stress of the day, I highly recommend some no shoulds play.

In this video, you’ll see loose and free play as I’m using a gel plate as an “ink pad” with Seth Apter rubber stamps, and how to clean them easily, how to deal with a stenciling O.O.P.S., and more.

Watch Ditch the Stress of the Day with Art Play on YouTube.

First, you need something to art on.  Anything you have will be great for this!  My go to is cardboard from cut up boxes.

Next, you need something to art with. Anything you have will be great for this!  Paint, markers, watercolors, crayons, pastels, chalk, pens, really anything you have easily accessible to you.

Once you have a something to art on and something to art with, just start making marks, putting the paint in it, and doing whatever comes to mind.  Really, whatever comes to mind.  I made what looks like a big blue donut on there.  Anything goes since this is play.

What if you mess something up?  Well, I did when I was stenciling the word start. Except it wasn’t really a mistake, it was an O.O.P.S., an Outstanding Opportunity Presenting Suddenly.  In the video, you can see what I did with it.

You might have noticed the fine liner that I used in the video.  I use that a lot when I have wet paint so that I can write on it without ruining a pen.  I’ve got a video all about using those fine liners here. 

The bottles arrive empty and then you fill them with whatever you want.  The ones in the video were filled with acrylic inks.  I’ve got the links below to the specific supplies to make it easier for you.

Here are the supplies used. Some of these links are affiliate links which means I get a small percentage. It doesn’t cost you anything extra and it helps keep the free tutorials coming!


If you’d like more play, more fun with your art supplies but you need a place to start- check out my free online workshop, Permission to Play.

{ 2 comments… add one }

Every comment and every share feeds the muse. Thank you for being part of this colorful journey!

  • Amy Schneider November 14, 2018, 1:17 pm

    Carolyn, Thank you so much. This is very timely for me. I am stressing out. We’re having seven family members sleeping over from Wednesday through Sunday for the Thanksgiving holiday. I should be getting the dust bunnies off the ceiling. I should be finding new recipes. My craft room will host my brother on an air mattress, so I better find a new place to play soon! Now I will close my computer and go play.

  • Cherie November 16, 2018, 6:15 pm

    It’s probably mostly because of the long skinny rectangular shape, but the finished piece reminds me of a gift certificate — a gift to yourself to PLAY! 🙂 Thanks for all of your wonderfully upbeat and positive videos – I love how free and spontaneous you are about your work, and your trust that everything you create will eventually, somehow and someday, find its proper place in the universe. So inspiring!