Although I do not sew, I have a stash of fabrics that I use in my mixed-media art work.
When I needed a particular color or design, I had to rummage through my large drawer of fabrics. To provide myself with easy access to the variety of materials, I created these fabric swatches.
First, I glued a small piece of paper on each popsicle stick. Then I pasted on the swatch of fabric. The photograph shows only a few of my fabrics. You can display the fabric sticks in a decorative can - and add more color to your Studio.
If you own a large supply of paints, you might want to create paint swatch sticks - and label the sticks with the names of the paint colors.
My order from Jet Pens recently arrived. As you can see, I got a little carried away with purchasing blue pens.
I like ordering from this company because of the unique Japanese products that they offer. Also, I'm always in search of the perfect pen for sketching and art journaling. Here are descriptions of some of the items that I ordered.
The pen that I most look forward to using is the Ohto Graphic Liner Needle Point Drawing Pen. It "produces the same kind of line as your typical fiber-tipped drawing pens, but with a sturdy metal needle point instead." According to the company description, "you'll never have to worry about smashing the pen tip over time, and can use every last drop of the waterproof, archival-safe pigment ink." I hope this is true because I do think I tend to press too hard on my Micron pens.
I ordered the Sakura Pigma Sensei Drawing Pen. The description says that "the ink is archival quality, smear- and feather-resistant, waterproof, chemical proof, and fade-resistant. It also does not bleed through most papers." Although the pen is promoted to manga artists, I think I will enjoy sketching with it.
I also ordered the Marvy LePen Technical Drawing Pen. It is described as having "pigmented black ink that resists bleed-through and is permanent when dry."
Because I often make detailed pencil sketches and need a slim eraser, I ordered the Seed Radarknock eraser encased in a pen-like form. It has "an unusual tip shape resembling a three-quarter moon, making erasing small areas easier than with wider erasers."
Some how, I also ordered the Tombow Mono Knock 3.8 Eraser encased in a pen-like form. "With the push of a button you can extend the Tombow Mono eraser" and it's ready to use.
The shocking pink item in the photo is the Sun-Star, Paper Stitch Lock Staple-Less Stapler. It "requires absolutely no metal staples, and will hold up to 4 sheets of paper together (average copy weight). The mechanism punches the paper and stitches it together in one press." I really got tired of messing with metal staples. Most of the hard copy that I keep are two to four pages in length so the stapler will work for me.
I have no association with Jet Pens. I just like their products. And aren't all mixed-media artists also office supply and stationery hoarders too?
I came across these Cra-Z-Art colored pencils on the Walmart site. There were a few good customer reviews so I purchased them at my local Walmart. The pencils were not available as an online order.
There is a great range of colors in the 72 count set - and the cost is only $5.99. I did like how the pencils performed on paper. However, my favorite colored pencils are still the creamy Prismacolor Premier colored pencils. But I will also use the Cra-Z-Art pencils in my drawings.
A well-respected Art blog recently asked their viewers
about their Artistic Goals for 2013. Many of the readers said that their goal
was to use all, or most, of the art supplies that they had purchased within the
past year - or even years ago. Many members in my local Art Group admit to being art supply
hoarders. How about you? Are you one too?
I have to confess that that I have a bunch of new art
supplies that I haven’t used yet. Many of them have not even been opened.
Do you see that Yupo Pad in the photograph? I purchased it a few years ago – and
Yes – I have not even experimented with one sheet of it. I probably do own some
more supplies that don’t appear in the photo. However, I just wanted to show
you a sampling of my new stuff.
But there may be an upside to our art supply
hoarding. After you read this post, challenge yourself to rummage through your
stash. Pull out all those new art supplies in drawers, boxes, desks, under beds
or wherever you hide them. You may be surprised to find things that you have
completely forgotten about.
Pile these goodies on a table and Resolve to Use One of those Art Supplies Today (after you read this post). These newly-found supplies may give you an unexpected shot of inspiration. To continue the momentum, schedule each one of
these art supplies into your calendar or daily planner. For example, plan to
experiment with one new art supply each week.
And don’t pack those new art supplies away. Keep
them out in full view so that you will remember to create with them this year.
I don’t think art supply hoarding is such a terrible
vice. After all, these items are not just supplies - they are Tools of Inspiration
I experimented with making some homemade alcohol ink to use as a background spray for my mixed-media art work. On many blogs, I've seen artists mix the alcohol with Rite dye, either the liquid or powdered form. I decided to try India-type ink instead.
I put isopropyl alcohol and a turquoise-blue ink in a small mister. I added the ink, little by little, with a dropper until it was dark enough for me - and then I shook the bottle. As you can see, my stamped images bled a little even though I heat-set the images beforehand.
I had used a Memories ink pad. Next time, I'm going to try a StazOn ink pad and a heavier weight of paper.
Since the images had already bled, I then saturated the Artist Trading Cards (ATCs) with the ink/alcohol mixture. I did like the pale blue color of the spray. I think I'm going to experiment with acrylic ink and isopropyl alcohol next.
What I do like about making my own alcohol inks is that I can control the colors.
Recently, I've been looking at various Graphic Drawing Tablets online so that I can explore new ways of making art.
Many of the tablets out there are quite pricey. Then, I found out about the Monoprice Graphics Tablet - 10" x 6.25." The latter tablet sells for $49.60. That's a bargain when you compare it to graphic tablets that go for a couple of hundred dollars or more.
There seems to be a lot of good buzz about the Monoprice Tablet. Check out their site for more information.
When I'm traveling, or sketching on the go, I used to pack my pens and pencils in a generic pencil pouch. Sometimes, I even tossed my pencils and pens in a ziplock storage bag. Either way, I was always digging around into the bag, or pouch, to find the right implement. In the storage bag, the pens would become soiled from my graphite pencils.
Well, I recently purchased the Nomadic Triple Pouch Pen Case(in red) from Tokyo Pen Shopand I am thrilled with their product. The cost is good too - only $10.50. The Japanese folks really make smart products. Not only can I separate my pens and pencils in my pen case, but I also don't have to hunt for the needed tool.
I periodically like to check in with The Empty Easel site. I always find inspiring articles with practical advice, ideas, tips, and tutorials for creating and selling art.
Today, I found an article on How to Make a Tortillon (blending stick) written by Kim "Gordie" Carver. She includes template instructions. At first I thought, "Why make a Tortillon when I can just as easily purchase one?" But then I read how Kim uses her blending sticks.
Here is her explanation in her own words: "I use Prismacolor Pencils a lot. The colors are vibrant, and they are beautifully transparent when I use a Tortillon to blend them, allowing the colors below them to show through."
Now, to me, that was a new use for a Tortillon. I had always used these blending sticks for shading when I did pencil sketches. All of a sudden the Tortillon appeared to be a more versatile tool than I realized. Check out Kim's Tortillon Tutorial and then try making one for yourself.
Are there other artist tools that you use for alternate purposes?
I received my first order fromJetPens and what customers say about them is true. Delivery is fast. They take great care in packing their orders. And the product quality is excellent. I love my new purchases.
As you can see, I seem to be in a Blue Phase - and all of the pen/pencil shades of blue that I purchased are lovely. Here's what I ordered:
Maruman Mnemosyne - Word Book
Stabilo Point 88 Fineliner Marker Pen - 0.4 mm - Turquoise Blue
Pilot Color Eno Mechanical Pencil - 0.7 mm - Soft Blue Body - Soft Blue Lead
Pilot Color Eno Mechanical Pencil Lead - 0.7 mm - Soft Blue
Herbin Dip Pen Ink - 30 ml Bottle - Pearlescent Ink - Light Aqua Blue
Zebra Regal Arrow Liquid Ink Roller Ball Pen - 0.7 mm - Light Blue
Pilot Hi-Tec-C Gel Ink Pen - 0.3 mm - Yawaragi Colors - Usuzumi (Light Sumi Gray)
Uni Mitsubishi Pin Pen - 03 Pigment Ink - 0.38 mm - Black Ink
Zebra Surari Emulsion Ink Pen - 1.0 mm - Black Ink
When I placed my last online order with Jerry's Artarama, I looked in the new product section and saw this Vanish 4-in-1 Artist Eraser. I always (like to have an excuse) to buy new art supplies so I ordered one eraser. I wasn't expecting much.
Wow - was I surprised. I love this eraser and I wish I had ordered more than one. I had never been happy with any erasers that I bought in the past. But Vanish is my new Go To eraser. Here's part of the product description:
"The Vanish 4-in-1 Eraser has a unique, flexible composition that can erase anything from graphite to charcoal, colored pencil to pastels! Strong enough to erase sharp graphite lines from hard papers, but gentle enough to remove charcoal strokes from soft papers, the Vanish Eraser not only cleans the paper, it cleans up after itself! Instead of creating piles of crumbs for every line erased, the Vanish rolls with the stroke, leaving only a nice clean strip at the end."
Have you purchased this eraser? What do you think of it?
Today, the FedEx guy delivered a wonderful surprise. In the recent ArtistsNetwork Holiday Contest, I won an Edgmon Easel Box. It can be used for both Field and Studio use. The Easel Box was designed by Artist and Workshop Teacher, Susan Edgmon. You view Susan's award-winning paintings at SusanEdgmon.
As you can see by the picture, the Easel Box is a beautiful piece of equipment. The Boxes are handcrafted and manufactured in NorthWest Arkansas. They are compact and lightweight, only 7.4 lbs. Setup takes less than two minutes. So, this product is a convenient traveling companion. You can see a video demonstration of the Easel Box here.
I can't wait to fill my Easel Box with tubes of watercolor paint - and to start creating.
I wanted to create some fabric transfers using Citra Solv. I went to the company's site - and it looked like four stores in my area carried the product. After some driving, and many phone calls, I found out that none of the listed stores actually had the product. I don't live near a big city.
The local store owners weren't even familiar with Citra Solv. Luckily, Jerry's Artarama (online site) has the product - and at a good price ($9.79 for 16 oz.). However, shipping is around $8.00. The good news is: Citra Solv will soon be shipped to my home. Note: The product is considered flammable or hazardous so it is not available for rush or air service.
Among a million other artistic endeavors, I've been wanting to try soldering jewelry for a long time now.
I recently saw this soldering tool kit, in Michaels, for $16.00. It might be a good kit to experiment with just to see if I'm really interested in soldering.
Here's the product description: "Soldering iron heats to 950 degrees Fahrenheit. Includes Cone Point, Square Point, 10ft lead-free solder with rosin core, 10ft adhesive back copper foil tape, stand, and instructions. Designed especially for women's hands, Non-slip comfort grip. Works with replacement tips that have 8-32 threads."
YAY! My D. Blumchen & Company order arrived this afternoon. For the past year, I have been experimenting with creating vintage and spun cotton ornaments. I am very pleased with the quality of the supplies that I received today.
Hopefully, I will soon be posting some of these ornaments on my blog. If you love vintage, and enjoy creating, Blumchen offers the most tempting eye candy. Why not check them out. (The slight cloudiness, at the bottom of the picture, comes from the plastic bags.)
According to the Dick Blick site, you simply re-wet the area you want corrected, wait a few seconds, then scrub the paper with the brush, blot and rework. I purchased the set of three, in sizes 2, 6 and 12.
If you have used these brushes, let me know what you think of them. I can't wait to try them out.
It may have been the July 4th weekend (with less antique vendors) - or the hot weather - but I didn't find any vintage items, at the Raleigh Flea Market, that caught my attention.
However, we also visited The Scrap Exchange in Durham and I found some lovely decorative paper. The black & white paper is 24 1/2" x 36." I should have purchased more of it. I think the paper will make a nice background for a collage.
I enjoyed hunting through The Scrap Exchange which is a nonprofit, creative reuse center. Their "mission is to promote creativity, environmental awareness and community through reuse." The Center receives new material daily and sells it at 50-75% off their original retail price.
What can you find there? Depending on the day of the week, anything from ceramic tiles to decorative paper, matte board, fabric, buttons, glass beakers, test tubes - and much, much more.
They also have an Artists' Marketplace, featuring items from local craftspeople and artists who use reclaimed materials in their work. If you live too far away from the Center, you can purchase items online.
Check out their site for more interesting information about all of their activities.
If you're a mixed-media artist, now is the time to stock up on those supplies that can add that extra bling to your future projects. During the Holiday season you can find items, such as sparkling stars, that may not be available during the year. And the best part is these supplies are on sale right now.
Check out Craft, Department, and Discount stores. Pay a visit to Book, Stationery and Dollar stores too. Here are some of the supplies I recently picked up.
I recently placed an order withRetro Cafe' Art Gallery. The vendor caught my attention because of the unique supplies that they offer.
I can't wait to begin working with the Stencils and Tim Holtz Concerto Mask. I really needed (yes, I know - a created need) the Inchie 30-Pocket Binder Page. I plan to use the Clear Acrylic Inchies to make charms. And the Collage Sheet came just in time for the holiday season!
This was my first order from Kristinand I am very happy with my new supplies.Everything was nicely packagedand my order arrived so quickly.Check out her shop.