Current Five Favorite Tools

So I’ve been working on my 365 project for about 2 months. I finally feel like I’m getting in the groove with it. When I sit down to create, I already have a small store of ideas to pull from so I can start creating immediately. Something I have noticed over this time, is I’m reaching for the same tools repeatedly. And sometimes they are tools I don’t use that often. I thought it would be fun to share those with you today! 

 

UHU Stic-

I’ll be honest- I have a love/hate relationship with this thing. It is so hard to open sometimes. At times it seems to stick really well and other times it doesn’t. However, I’m determined to use up my vast collection of supplies for this project before buying anything new. That means using this glue stick as well. What I have noticed, is the more heavily I apply it, the better it works. Who knew? ;) That has been my approach with it and now I’m loving it a bit more than I’m hating it.

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Brayer-

This is another tool that I don’t use that often or at least not how I find myself using it lately. I love this tool for layering paint or with my Gelli Plate. But lately, I’ve been using it to smoosh layers together that have been glued, usually with the UHU stic. I think that is another reason I’m hating that glue stick a little less. To make each card feel hefty enough, I’m gluing a sheet of card stock to back of them. I’m using the glue stick then adhering everything together and giving it a few good rolls before calling it done. None of the cards have started to separate from the backer. 

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Alpha Stamps-

I have a variety of alpha stamps that I love using. So far, my favorite are those little wooden ones you get for about $1 at big box craft stores. They are so easy to use and don’t take up too much space. I have about 6 of them but I find myself using the typewriter one the most. There is something nostalgic about it!

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Golden Fluid and High Flow Acrylics-

I have always used a variety of paints from cheap craft paint to more expensive brands. With these cards, I’m finding myself reaching for the Golden fluid paints the most. They cover quickly and have great color pigmentation! I also love using them for fine detail and line work. The fluorescent pink color has made an appearance on more than one card already.

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Corner Rounder-

This may seem like an odd thing to list as a favorite, but it truly is. The first few cards I made, when I was still feeling my way through the process, I left the corners square. It wasn’t a detail I was giving much thought. Then I decided to round one corner and it seemed to make all the difference! It makes the cards look more finished and polished. The corner rounder I’m using is by Becky Higgins but pretty much any of them will work.

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There are my current favorites (in no particular order). I am positive these will change over the course of this project. As they do, I will be sure to share.

In the meantime, what are your favorite tools and supplies? Just for informational purposes not so I can add to my shopping list.

Mixed Media Supply Budgets

I’ve been thinking lately about my go-to supplies. And the supplies I’ve had for years and can’t seem to part with. I’ve been thinking about how I do mixed media and art journaling and painting and just art in general. I guess you could say all that (over)thinking is really me figuring out my style. I’ve been creating in some form or another for well over ten years. That’s kind of a long time. It’s actually about a third of my life so far. And really I would say I’ve been creating since childhood. But anyway. Last week, I shared about finding free supplies for your mixed media projects. Today, I thought through different budgets and created supply lists for each. This is totally my opinion and based solely on how I create. I suggest you use it as a way to determine what you want to spend your money on. 

I’m going to assume you have a basic kit of a ruler, scissors, paper, and pen/pencil. 

If I only have $30 to spend where should I start?
$5-Paint. Start with a red, yellow, and blue, any shade that speaks to you. Get black and white (maybe in a larger size). Then fill in with other colors that you love. When you start on projects, experiment with color mixing and keep notes of the colors you like. I’ve worked up a collection of colors, but I still mix almost every color I use. This adds depth to a project.
$3-Paintbrushes. Get a large flat, a small round, and a fine tip one. In some stores you can get an assortment pack for a few dollars. This will help you decide which size brushes you use most often and you can begin to replace those with better quality when you need one.
$10-Acrylic Medium (not Mod Podge. This is the one place I suggest getting an art supply instead of craft supply. In the end, I’m always happier with my results with Acrylic Medium over Mod Podge.) 
$5-10-Stamps. I suggest bold lined floral sets that can be painted and cut out. 
$2-5- Permanent Dye Ink pad. Black is probably the most versatile. 
$1- Brads, Buttons, Trims, stickers. Fill the rest of your budget with these items.

If I only have $75 to spend where should I start?
Start with the basic supplies above. 
$15-Stencils. Get a few basic patterns that you love.
$5-10-Stamps. Pick up an extra stamp set or two. You could consider background stamps here.
$20-Gel Printing Plate. It’s so much fun and will make the best printed papers for your projects.
$5-White and Black Paint or Gel Pens for doodles and journaling.

If I only have $100 to spend where should I start?
All supplies listed above
$10-assortment of glitter because who doesn’t need a bit sparkle
$10-texture/molding paste to add more texture to your projects. These work great with stencils.
$5- Stencils. Stamps. 

Where you’ll want to go from here?
Canvas
Mixed Media/Watercolor paper
Heat Gun
Embossing Powders and Ink
Colored Pencils/Pens/Markers
Paper trimmer

What you didn’t see:
-Patterned Paper. You have the supplies to make your own
-Colored Cardstock. Paint a white piece of paper the color you want it. 

What are your go to supplies? 

Free Mixed Media Supplies

As I'm sure you know, arts and crafts can get pricey sometimes. Those supplies add up fast. But today, I wanted to share with you a list of free (or almost free) supplies that you may already have!

-Magazines. I love using home goods catalogs. They usually have swatches of colors and patterns that can be cut up and added to your project.
-Books. I’ll admit it took me some time before I felt comfortable ripping up a book. I told myself I had to read it first. Then I got over myself. 😃 Book text is so great for backgrounds, stamped or drawn images, die cuts, anything really. Just have fun with it.
-Telephone book. I don’t think they deliver these to doors anymore, but you can find them at the phone company usually. 
-Digital Images/fonts to print
-Cereal/Cracker Boxes. I love these for journal covers or in place of canvas.
-Gift boxes. I like to paint the front as if it’s a canvas then you can still use it as a box.
-Buttons from clothing. You save those little bags of extra buttons that come with your clothing, right? You can use those bags too.
-Fabric from old clothing. Chances are you have a box of clothes you don’t want anymore. This is a great place to find fabric that can be added to your mixed media projects.
-Shopping Bags. Not the plastic ones (Although you can do some cool stuff with those.) But the ones that you get at boutiques and fancier stores. 
-Junk mail. The envelopes are cool to create pockets on your projects. The letters are fun the print over. 

I keep supplies like these in a box under my work table. It's easy to grab a small piece when I'm working on a project or wanting to use up leftover paint. 

What free supplies have you used in your art?

Current 5 Must-Have Supplies for Mixed Media

As I've been creating more mixed media projects, I've noticed I'm reaching for the same tools and supplies over and over. So I thought I would share those with you today. 

1) Blick Matte Acrylic Paint
Why I love it: It is thicker than cheap craft paint, but not as expensive as heavy body paint. It also comes in so many colors, but mixes well to make even more colors. I really like that it dries matte but I can mix it with a gloss medium to make it shiny. This gives me more dimension when I do a combination of both in a painting.

2) Heavy Gloss Medium
There are many brands that make a heavy gloss medium. This one just happens to be from Michaels. As I mentioned above, it works great with matte paints. But it also works great on it's own to give some texture and shine.

3) Small canvases
I most like painting on large canvases, but I've enjoyed stretching my creative muscles by painting on a few small canvases at once. 

4) Plastic Palette Knife
This is a fun tool for scrapping paint and mediums across the surface for a cool texture. I also use it scrap leftover paint off my palette or when applying texture pastes through a stencil. It's a versatile tool. You can also use an old hotel key card in a pinch!

5) My Junk Journal
I have a few of these that I work in spontaneously. When I'm painting, I like to keep one close by for any left over paint. I'm constantly wiping off my paintbrush in it or smooshing it on my palette to pick up some paint I'm not planning to use anymore. It gives me the start of layers for later when I want to art journal. 

What are your must have tools and supplies when creating?