Mega Haul!



Today I am sharing my Haul! with you.

From Jerry’s Artarama:

A three drawer Pastel Storage Unit.  The drawers are very narrow, and when I separated my pastels and removed them from the easel box I purchased earlier, all three drawers were filled.  The one drawer easel box held the same amount as the three drawer box.  I am thinking of returning it to Jerry’s and buying two more of the easel boxes in it’s place.

Three Strathmore Visual Journals in 140lb. watercolor paper, which are my favorite art journals and I have already jumped into one of those.

A gray scale finder, a sample pack of hot press watercolor paper, 2 extra fine white pastel sticks, two samples of SoHo acrylic paints, with a 1″ glazing brush, 2 Mimic Brushes and 2 Black Swan brushes being back ordered.

From a local bargain store in Ann Arbor, Ollie’s, I found:

4 fabric covered 12″x 12″ ColorBok 3 D-ring binders normally used for scrapbooks.  These were $3.99, when the last one I purchased was a bit over $6.00.  These are what I’m using to hold my assignments and practice paintings.

A pack of 12 Bic Mark-its for $4.99.  These work well with all other alcohol-based markers and I’m glad I found some so cheap.  When I last looked at Walmart, they were 14.99.

I found a charming Bible cover for $6.99 and a large paper pad for $1.99.  We bought several more things there, but these were the only art-type supplies.

We also went to Blick’s in Deerborn.  While there, I spent my Christmas gift card.  I bought Reeve’s brand water soluble crayons, DerWent Inktense Blocks, a 10 hole palette for pan pastels, tortillions, Walter Forest books, Aqua Monolith water color pencils from Creatacolor, and Famous Artists paper dolls.

I have 24 Lyra watercolor crayons, a set of 5 pan pastels, pastel paper pads, 3-90 lb. Strathmore Visual Journals, liquid watercolor, Liquitex Heavy Body mixing colors, and a Bob Ross metal brush cleaner coming in the mail.

Oh the plans I have to play with my new materials!  Let me know if there is anything you’d like to hear more about.  I’ll give you a review of all the stuff as I use it.


New Art Journal!


the first page in the new art journal

Soon I will be adding a Haul! post, but not everything has arrived yet.

One thing I could not wait to begin was my new art journal.  Remember the 2017 Challenge?  Using the principles of the Secret?  Well, I began an art journal today with that whole thing as the focus.

I am using a Strathmore Visual Journal, 140 lb watercolor paper.  The price has gone up a bit since my order, but they are still reasonably priced.  Mine is the 9″x 12 ” size journal.  This is my favorite art journal and I was very excited to have them arrive this morning.

The remaining art materials I ordered were from Dick Blick and they have not arrived yet.  This is odd, as I have often received my order the day after I placed it.  Nevertheless, I’m sure it will be arriving tomorrow.  Once it does, I’ll post the Haul!

Tomorrow is a very exciting day for me because I have a treatment in Ann Arbor (not the exciting part) and my DH says there is a Blick’s not far from UofM.  We will be going to the actual STORE!  I’m so excited I could just jump up and down like a three year old.  Can you imagine the delight of seeing aisle upon aisle of artist materials?  The nearest thing I have to an art store is Michael’s and Hobby Lobby.  Both of which are over priced by tons and have very limited selection.

Yes!  Imagine the joy of shopping in an actual art store!  I cannot wait to get there!

I Can’t Believe I Did That!

I have a small box which held tangelos from Aldi.  I am covering this with paper and after that dries, my book page paintings.  I was planning to use my 2 oz. bottles of mod podge, which I purchased from Dollar Tree.

I started grabbing the gloss mod podge bottles, and one after the other was just about empty.  With just a hair left in the bottom of the bottle…

What was I thinking?  Did I plan to re-use the little bottles?  Was I planning to drain the very last drop from each bottle to create one which was half full?  What was I thinking???

Let me tell you what I’m thinking right now:  I need to buy Mod Podge by a larger jug and keep it handy for when I need it, which is more often than I realized.  I have the 2 oz. bottles in matte but the gloss 2 oz bottles are nearly gone.  The irony here is I am making the box to have on my work desk to hold my most used liquid glues and adhesives.  Wont be holding my gloss Mod Podge, cause it’s gone…


Here’s One I’ve Never

experienced before.

Some background:  I have had my own paint contracting business for several years.  I am also a set designer and painter for the past 17 years.  These two things mean I have literally painted thousands of gallons of paint on every possible surface you can imagine.  I should also mention I am very fast and accurate.

Yesterday I experienced something I have never experienced before.  I painted a friends apartment.  This is a fairly small apartment, about 1000 square feet.  I fully expected I would have the entire thing painted with the first coat in 4 to 5 hours.  That is a perfectly reasonable time allotment for that size and my normal speed.

After 5 1/2 hours, with 15 minutes for a break for my arm, I was only able to paint the main, largest living space.  It is the living room/dining and hallway area.  The smaller hallway and two bedrooms remain to be painted today.  AND it took nearly 2 1/2 gallons of paint to do it.

The stuff on the walls, which are textured, is the most extraordinary stuff I’ve ever seen on any surface.  I am assuming it is some sort of primer, but I can’t even swear to that…When I run my hand over the wall, a thick chalk residue comes off.  I have never used a primer in my professional life which has this type of residue.  Now, I’m sure the apartment complex uses the cheapest materials it can get, but still, there should never be this sort of thing with a primer.

And whatever it is sucks the paint in like a sponge.  Normally, when you’re cutting in a room you can load your brush and the paint will flow off it until it is empty, usually 3 to 5 inches, depending on boring variables.  You will then reload the brush, go back over the area where the paint is not as thickly applied as the rest and continue on.  Simple.  (Oh, and this is all done without taping anything.  I never tape.  It is an utter waste of my time, as I don’t get paint where I don’t want it.)  Anyway, it does not take me long to cut in a room.

This stuff on the walls wont let the paint leave the brush in a line.  It sucks it right in, which means I can only paint an inch or so before I have to reload.  And I have to keep going over it again and again, because it sucks in but also leaves little spots where the paint does not adhere.  The amount of paint and effort it took to cut in the space yesterday would normally be equal to six rooms of that size.  This is not an exaggeration in any way.  I worked harder on that small area than I have ever worked on any other painting project, which is saying something.

I have painted unprimed cement, wood palettes, kiln-dried ceramics, kids clay projects, furniture, outdoor everything, every possible type of wall and ceiling, unprimed drywall compound, plastic, stucco, old linoleum, ceramic cast iron bathtubs, wall paper, 150 year old houses, metal, professional race cars, anything and everything.

And I have never experienced anything like this.


I guess the reason I’m writing this is because it’s such a shock to find something so odd in what I do.  I mean, I can paint your house with my eyes closed.  There isn’t anything involving paint, stain, varnish, wallpaper, etc. that I am not an expert in.  (This is merely from years and years of experience, not any unusually spectacular abilities on my part.)  To find something so bizarre in an area where I thought I had seen and done it all is a bit unsettling.

It’s certainly one I’ll not forget in a hurry, I can tell you that.


Stamping and Die Cutting

I am seriously considering getting some stamps.  You know the wood mounted or unmounted cling type stamps?  But I am also considering digital stamps, which take up no room in my work space but do, unfortunately, involve using the computer and my wretched printer.

The thing is, I make watercolor cards.  If I need to send a card, I just paint one.  I am not much of a card sender, to be honest, so my need for cards is minimal.  But I watch Lindsay, the frugal crafter, with all her stamps and the really cool things she does with them and I want stamps.  Not the thousands that she has, just some very basic shapes, like circles, ovals, frames, sentiments, all occasion and seasonal stamps which would be used over and over again.

I have several of the little alphabet stamp sets from Walmart and Micheal’s, which were $1 or less.  There are also a couple larger alpha sets from Micheal’s which I snagged from the clearance section for less than $3 each. I have made several large background stamps from kneeling foam pads I picked up at Dollar Tree and the thicker sheets of fun foam.  I also made some stamps from hot glue, but I find the hot glue thing works better as a stencil, rather than as a stamp.  And my dear friend Laurie gave me all her stamps, as she wont be using them.  So it’s not as if I don’t have any stamps to play with.  I do.  ( But I really yearn for the quirky, oddball stamps which I don’t have anything like at all.  Not practical, not basic shapes you can make into many things, not a great idea to invest in, but there you have it…)

And my other desire is a Big Shot die cutting machine. The machine itself isn’t so terribly expensive, but I have nothing for dies.  Which would mean purchasing several different dies, in the basic shapes.  And my real love is the embossing folders they have.  Those backgrounds on paper look just amazing!  But, again, this is a whole new area for me and I would have to begin from scratch.  Do I really want to do that?

Honestly, I have so many projects right now to work on, do I really want to begin one more thing?


You’re right.

I don’t.

I have so many materials which I am determined to use and enjoy. Do that first before diving into another thing.  Absolutely sound and logical thinking.  (And I have forgotten my real goal here, which is to use up as much of my supplies as possible before we sell this house because it will mean less to move.)

Perfect!  You have talked me down!  Thank you for that, and have a wonderfully creative day!


New Computer!!

Have I mentioned, my husband is a SAINT?

Well, if I haven’t, I am now.

As we all know, eye roll here, computers are not my “thing”.  I hate them, they hate me.  This is fact.

Yesterday, while trying to write a word document of my favorite artist materials for use on this blog, my computer crashed and burned SIX times.  “We’re sorry, but windows has crashed.  Would you like to send a report blah, blah, blah…”

Seriously?  I’m just trying to type out a supply list.

In Word.


Six times.

I left to paint a friends apartment, which is a whole other story of shock and awe, in and of itself…Came home, showered and went to the youth group auction.  (My watercolor cards sold for $35.00, which is appalling.  But there were so few people left by the time they came up, it’s a wonder they sold at all. There was a very cold draft through the room.  I was shivering, and I had on a heavy sweater/top with a calve length cardigan over that.  Scott even got up and went searching to see if a door was left open somewhere.  Anyway, people couldn’t stand the cold and left.  There were only a handful there toward the end. They did raise $13,000 dollars with the auction, however, which is a new record I think.)

Back to my saintly husband.

When we came back from the auction, I had complained about the crashing of the computer while making a word document.  I came into my work room and was trying to get the stupid computer to boot up-no success-when he came in, set a laptop on my work table and said “sign in”.  I asked what this was, his laptop?

No, he had ordered one for me last week and forgot to mention it.  It arrived yesterday while I was painting Daniel’s apartment.

I almost wept!

I asked if this one would have all my stuff on it, and he said it would once he loaded it on to it.  He’s doing that today after church, while I’m finishing the apartment.

Is this guy fantastic or what?  To order a laptop for me, because apparently I have complained about the crashing of the other one a lot, and then surprise me with it like that?

I adore him.


Fun Art Journaling Idea!

My girl, Lindsay, the Frugal Crafter, did it again!  She came up with a brilliant idea for art journal pages, scrapbook pages, cards, multi-media art work, or just as they are:  painted book pages!

I have mentioned I was given an old set of encyclopedias.  I am using the book pages for many art journaling projects.  Lindsay Mod Podged her book pages and painted an acrylic image on the dried pages.  I purchased several 2 oz. bottles of Mod Podge at the Dollar Tree, some in gloss and some in matte finishes, for my Bible Journaling class kits.  (I bought 3 times the amount needed for my classes.  I was purchasing the supplies for the kits before I actually had the class sign-up details.) So I grabbed a 2 oz. bottle of matte finish, mod podged several pages, and let them dry overnight.

Using a few of Lindsay’s ideas and a seed catalog that came in the mail two days ago, I painted several different flowers on the pages.  On one, I painted mini-pumpkins in all sorts of unexpected colors as a practice for tonal ranges. I painted 11 pages of  flowers, pumpkins and leaves.

This was a quick and easy way to use up the left over paint in my Sta-Wet palette, and wonderful for sketching images with a paint brush, shading, tonal studies and just general painting practice.  These small paintings will work well in all sorts of multi-media applications.  I’m mod podging a couple of them to a box which will sit on my work table and hold my most used glues and adhesives.

If you need a small project, something to kick-start your creativity, this is a good one.  Quick, simple, cheap and fun!  What more could we ask for?



Don’t Do This

with your wood handled paint brushes…

Do Not leave them in water while you run upstairs because of a kid emergency, then get ready for an evening out and come home late, try to sleep unsuccessfully, come down to your work room and find…

A brush lounging in the water, with the wood handle swollen up and split.

And this is why I recommend acrylic handled paint brushes.  I cannot tell you how many brushes have bit the big one because life calls me away in the middle of a project and the water splits the handle.  Occasionally, the handle will swell up, then shrink back down and the ferrule (the metal part between the bristles and the handle) will fall off. I have reattached them with hot glue with mixed results.

Brush Set

My favorite acrylic handled brushes

Remember people:  Do as I say, NOT what I do.  Your poor brushes deserve better treatment than mine get!  Mine tremble with fear as I reach for them, never knowing if these are their last productive moments on earth…Hoping I will be kind and not forget them in their murky water-loo…

Love your brushes, people.  Love them, I tell you!


Hold On-This is a Game Changer!

Okay, I was feeling lousy and bought a sample pack of cheesecake.  It came in a small (6 1/2″ round) plastic disposable cake container.  You know, the kind that holds a decorated cake at the bakery.  Only, this one was small, which is the point.

This will make a perfect DIY wet palette for Plein Air painting.  Simply cut a piece of faux-chamois cloth in the size of the base of your cake container.  I use distilled water in my sta-wet palette, but tap water will work too.  Because there are tunnels in the base plastic, the water can drain into those if you should get your chamois cloth to wet to start.  Just get it wet, ring it out so it’s damp and put it on the bottom part of the cake holder.

Cut a couple pieces of parchment paper (or wax paper if that’s all you have) and put those on top of the damp chamois cloth.Spritz your paper with a spray bottle of water so it’s just damp, not wet.  You don’t want to add your paint and have it run all over the place.

Add your paint choices.  If you are going to cover and travel with your palette, spritz your paints with water or palette wetting spray and cover with the top.  Take your water spriting bottle with you to keep your paints moist while you’re out painting.

Hey!  I bet this would work with full sized cake packaging too.  My original DIY stay wet palette let me down and I actually purchased a Sta-Wet palette.  I find this starts to smell funky after only a couple days.  I only use distilled water with my Sta-Wet palette and it smells anyway…

Now if the expensive one ends up smelling with great care taken to prevent it, I wonder if the cake tray idea would work better?  And if the DIY one smells after a couple days-so what?  The expensive one does too.  I think it’s time for a side by side test of both…

I will let you know what the results are after my experiment.