How to Transform a File Folder into Mail Art

I love giving and receiving mail art!  There is nothing quite like opening up the mailbox to find a colorful, artsy piece of mail waiting for me.  File folders are one of my favorite substrates. They are inexpensive, versatile and oh, got to love those tabs!

Here is one of my favorites from the past!  Enjoy!

Have a blessed day!


PS - Want to explore mail art?  I have a workshop for that:  You've Got Mail...Art!


Grab a Free copy of my Little Houses Collage used in this tutorial!


Sketching Limes Process Video

"On my desk, I always have a lemon or a lime drying. I love the fragrance. Also, a Staedtler eraser, a brush for the eraser and a pencil sharpener." -Maira Kalman
Sketching Limes Process Video with @robenmarie

Interested in Learning More?

Interested in sketching?  Take a look at this article: Sketchbook Roundup and Guide. I offer up ideas to get you started, including inspiration and a free download of my Take & Sketch Guide.  

I know, you're thinking, "That is all well and good, but I can't draw a stick figure!" Have you tried?  I mean, not to draw a stick figure, but real sketching? LOL! For many years I envied those who could sketch, wishing I had the talent, too.  

My sketching style is not realistic, but instead one my husband calls "comic book abstract." What does that even mean?  I embrace it and love to see what emerges when I sketch...the quirky, odd and abstract!  

Keep in mind that practice is essential.  There are many times when my sketch ends up in a ball at the bottom of my trash can. Be patient and try not to get discouraged.  I say that for you and a reminder to myself.

Paper or Plastic?

You might be wondering why I use paper as my palette instead of a plastic tray, right?  I know it seems a bit weird, but it works for me. I have tried using the plastic lid on my watercolor case, but I kept gravitating to paper. I don't find it wasteful because I am left with a beautiful watercolor paper to use later.  It ends up being random and I love that!

Do you keep a sketchbook? 

How would you describe your style?

Have a  blessed day!



Easy Sweet Tea Valentine Video Tutorial

Easy Sweet Tea Valentine Video Tutorial with Roben-Marie Smith #diy #valentines #mixedmedia @robenmarie

It was 1977 and I had a crush on a boy named Billy!

Billy had a head full of floppy blonde curls and a smile that melted my 10 year old heart! Like most grade school classes during that time, we exchanged Valentines. With my mom's help, I carefully crafted my Valentine box with white paper, doilies and hand painted hearts.

I was so excited when the day finally arrived and my fellow fifth graders and I happily stuffed Valentines and candies into the decorated boxes. I could hardly sit still waiting for the end of the day so I could tear into my box to see if the boy of my dreams gave me a Valentine as special as the one I gave him.

Sound familiar?  

When was the last time you made Valentines and sent them to your friends?

Let's rekindle that childhood experience of cutting, gluing and coloring our own handmade Valentines.  

Have a  blessed day!


Did Billy give me his "heart" on that day so long ago?  Not exactly, but he did give me silly putty and I thought that was pretty cool!

>>>Want to explore printmaking with the GelliPlate?  My Printmaker Pro Workshop will have you cranking out prints faster than you can redeem a Michaels coupon! 

Easy Sweet Tea Valentine Video Tutorial with Roben-Marie Smith #diy #valentines #mixedmedia @robenmarie


Work with Me: I’m Hiring!

I am so excited to announce that I am hiring a Virtual Assistant or two!  This is a paid, work-at-home (virtual) position assisting my business operations.  Interested?  Read on!

Work with me: I'm hiring!  @robenmarie Roben-Marie Smith job opening for Virtual Assistant.

The kind of work I am looking to delegate

  • Research, data entry, graphic design, writing and editing, project management, social media management, email marketing/automation and product launches.

Position details

  • The part-time position (starting at 5-10 hours a month and increasing gradually over time) opens in March or sooner.
  • There will be a three month trial period to make sure that we are a good fit.

Your work may entail

  • Social Media Management: create graphics, research content, Facebook Group management, manage social media scheduler (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram)
  • Email Marketing: help manage email sequences and assist in writing and formatting (ConvertKit).
  • Marketing/Promotions: create graphics, schedule and manage webinars, create opt-ins (PDFs), help manage challenges, brainstorm ideas and implementation of projects
  • Blogging: research, create graphics, manage editorial calendar and edit blog posts 
  • Workshops: help me with workshop launches (help manage, test and upload content to Teachable)
  • Commerce: assist with maintaining online stores, manage affiliate links
  • Misc.: A variety of data entry and research projects when needed

Technical proficiency requirements

The ideal candidate will have/be

  • Familiarity with my work and willingness to brainstorm ideas with me
  • Ability to meet deadlines, work independently and make decisions on my behalf, when required
  • An eye for design — you don’t need to be a graphic designer, but you’re able to see the format, design and layout of my site and match it, when needed
  • Creative in nature and good with details
  • Must be comfortable with the tech and willing to learn applications that you do not know
  • Good writing skills
  • Ability to communicate clearly and directly
  • Previous experience as a VA, assistant, project manager or the like is a plus
  • Honest, trustworthy with a positive disposition

How to apply

  • Please complete the application below. Only submissions made through the application will be considered. Please do not send emails.
  • I am accepting applications through February 4, 2017. 

If you can't see the application, please click HERE for access.  Thanks!

What happens next? …

  • I’ll contact you after February 15 with more details and a request to interview (via email) if I think we’d be a good match!

Thanks for your interest!


10 Ideas to Organize Your Art Space to Maximize Creativity

Is your art space unorganized and uninspiring?

Looking for some fresh ideas for sprucing up your space?

I have just what you're looking for! 

I've created FREE EMAIL Course called 10 Ideas to Organize Your Art Space to Maximize Creativity, featuring ten of my favorite organizational ideas, a before and after peek of my studio, a printable PDF of all the ideas shared in the email course and a full studio walk through video!

How does it work?

Each day for seven days I will show up in your inbox with ideas, tips and more to help inspire you to get organized! Yep! Right in your inbox!

I hope the ideas I share will inspire you and get you excited about looking at your creative space with new eyes! 

Now that my studio is organized and I can actually find what I am looking for, I am happier, more productive and inspired.

Have a  blessed day!


How I Download Web Pages in Chrome

Just say no to bookmarks!

Have you ever tried printing a web page to access later for reference?  I’ll bet you have taken multiple screenshots and printed those, right?  Ugh! That is so time consuming!

How do you organize links and downloads to quickly access them later? How did I ever think typing them into a text file was productive, and don't get me started on bookmarks.


How I Download Web Pages in Chrome, and organize those files in Airtable for quick and easy access. @robenmarie

I am always on the lookout for ways to improve my organization in both my business and personal life, and sometimes that leads me down the proverbial rabbit hole.  I see a new platform and I just have to take it for a test drive.  I look up and realize that half my day is gone and I am still not sure this “new” software is going to save the day.

If this sounds like you, I am happy to share a viable solution that is stepping up my organizational game! 

My latest discovery is a Chrome extension called Full Page Screen Capture that will allow you to save a web page with one click.

And to sweeten the pot, let me introduce you to Airtable!

I use Trello, reviewed in this article,  but there was still something missing in my search to streamline my processes! 

Airtable is a different kind of spreadsheet organizing solution so don’t let the word “spreadsheet” scare you away.

Let's take a look in this quick video walk through. 

Click HERE to view video in full screen.

One of my goals for the new year is to streamline my business processes and to use my time more efficiently.  Combining Airtable with Trello will be helping me to do it, giving me more time in the art studio, which means more artsy goodness that I will have to share with YOU!

Other ideas for using Airtable:


•Job Hunting
•Wedding Planning
•Study Guides
•Book Lists
•Vacation Planning

•Favorite Movies

Home Remodeling
Apartment Hunting
Frequent Flyer Numbers
Grocery Lists
Gift Ideas Tracker
Pet Medical History


Have a  blessed day!