When The Planets Align

I have a confession to make.  I’m not a very good shopper.  Other than art supplies, I really don’t care for shopping.  Shoes, in particular, are very challenging for me.  I’ve often said I’d rather have a root canal than shop for shoes, and that’s pretty accurate.  I hate shopping for footwear.  Hate it!  In fact, I usually purchase my clothing and shoes at a second hand store.  I buy household items at garage sales and second hand stores, I make my own home decor stuff, and almost all our furniture is pre-loved as well.

Or maybe it’s that I’m just incredibly cheap.

Either way, I don’t really shop for myself that often-other than for art supplies.  Which is what makes yesterday so exceptional.  I shopped ’til I dropped with Laurie and man, I bought some stuff!

First, my third daughter Katie graduated from college last night.  I didn’t have anything that really looked appropriate for such a special occasion.  I wanted to look nice and pulled together, yet still feel like me.  Which is similar to Frankie from Grace and Frankie.  I’m a combination of bohemian and sparkly princess.  I love the free flowing stuff but am passionate about jewelry and all things sparkly.

Not always the easiest stuff to find.

Until yesterday when the planets aligned and I felt God’s hand guiding me to what I needed.  My intention was to try to find something to wear to the graduation ceremony last night.  I ended up with far more than that!  My store of choice was CATO, and I found an abundance of stuff.  Much of it on sale!

Laurie pulled most of the clothes for me while I was trying on stuff.  She knows my style as I know hers and this worked really well.  She found an ivory shift dress with fun embroidered sleeves, which was 10 bucks!  How can you go wrong for 10 bucks?  It fit like it was made for me, the embroidered flowers were bohemian in a subtle way and I added a long vest with crocheted lace over top.  It worked perfectly!

Next came some knits:  two knit pants and a knit skirt.  The pants are wide legged, palazzo-type, pants.  One is black, the other multi-colored stripes.  The skirt is also striped.  Both the striped pants and skirt have orange, peach, pink in them.  So I bought an orange top and a pink top to go with them.  Both are uniquely cut and very flattering.

And, of course, I found a cute pair of earrings on clearance…

As we were leaving the store, I mentioned since the shopping was going so extraordinarily well maybe I should look for shoes.  I desperately needed some, and it seemed like the day to do it.  We went next door to Pay Less and it was buy one get one half price!

While we spent longer shopping for shoes than we did for clothes, I managed to find four pair of shoes and two purses!  I bought black open toed shoes, red sandals, brown sandals and black boots.  And they all have heels I can walk in easily!  Amazing!!

I’ve been looking for a new purse for at least a year.  Again, normally I buy these second-hand.  I haven’t found anything I liked anywhere.  Until I shopped at Payless yesterday.  I found a purse that is adorable and matches the color of my dusty sage green vest with crocheted lace and a dark pink purse which goes with everything too.  Both are really cute, totally different from each other and work with everything I own!  Isn’t that amazing?

All that stuff for around 250 bucks.  I was really impressed by that.  And now I am all set for the upcoming Spring/Summer season.  And that really feels good!


Haul! Ollies

We went to Ann Arbor for my treatment on Wednesday.  My appointment was early in the morning and miraculously effective this time.  I was on the verge of one of the big headaches.  Had the injections and by the time we reached the car, I knew the cluster headache had stopped.  I have never had anything prevent a cluster when it was that advanced.  Occasionally oxygen will stop one, if I catch it quick enough, but never when it’s that far gone.  Astonishing.

Since I felt so much better after my treatment, we stopped at Ollie’s, which is an overstock discount store.  I picked up a few very deeply discounted things.  6 unique adult coloring books.  A couple are biblically inspired, also an animal book called Menagerie & More, Floribunda Style-to color, craft and draw, Flowers and Butterflies-a book of cards and envelopes, and Patterns– make your own gallery wall art.  This last one is very large and the pictures are suitable for framing, according to the information found within the book.  It’s pretty cool and not like any I’ve seen before.  In fact, none of the coloring books I found- on sale for 1.99 or less each- were like any I’ve seen around here.

Since I’ve filled my Tula Pink book, I needed something else to work in.  I looked at each book with art journaling possibilities in mind.  Inspiration happened and I’ve been busy with several projects today. Sometimes it helps to look at our stuff from a different angle.  Here are a couple examples of what I mean.

My coloring pages are just another supply to use in a project, like paper or paint.  I cut them up to use as embellishments.  I collage them onto used manila file folders and cereal box chipboard to make journal covers.  I use the small pieces for ATC’s and inchies.  I make paper beads by the thousands.  (That’s literal.  I currently have over 16,000 hand rolled paper beads for use in a very large project.)  I have the one’s designated for that project, but there are others which I use in my art journals and to make into jewelry.  The beads are a supply I can use in a number of different ways.  I also have some bead embroidery pieces-not made with paper beads- which can be used in art journaling, as jewelry, or even as decorative elements on hats, purses or gloves.  And, of course, I have projects I don’t care for when they’re completed.  Those I reuse elsewhere too.  Always think about your stuff and how you can use it in different ways in your art practice.  That way, no matter how the original project turned out, you haven’t wasted your time or your supplies.

Back to the Haul!  Scott found two packages of Sharpie markers for cheap, and I found a couple lined tablets used by kids to practice writing their letters.  Since I’m working on hand lettering, I like having practice paper I don’t have to make myself.

So this haul! wasn’t huge, but everything will be useful for a variety of upcoming projects.

Haul! Hobby Lobby and Michaels

I was having a rough day so Laurie and I went out.  As usual, we stopped by a couple stores.  I found some inexpensive/clearance items.  Here’s the list:

Hobby Lobby:

  1. four bags of sequins.  Pink iridescent, purple, lime green and pearl iridescent.
  2. Two books on hand lettering techniques.  Both were on sale for 4.74.
  3. A very large black ink pad
  4. 8 metal corners for art journal covers
  5. a set of 12 watercolor pencils.
  6. a dragon stencil


  1. two sets of fabric banners.  One in pale pink, one in dark pink.
  2. two packs of fabric doilies, oatmeal color
  3. four packs of metal keys.  Two hold six smaller keys and two hold four larger keys.
  4. a stainless steel necklace which holds my pendant from Mesa Arizona.

None of this is particularly exciting stuff, but I did find a few little things for pennies really.  I’m pretty thrilled with the hand lettering books I found.  One was the book I was looking at on Amazon.  I got it for a much better price at Hobby Lobby and didn’t have to pay for shipping.

All the discontinued/deeply discounted inks were gone.  Not one left.  In fact the display area was taken over with another brand of inks.  Each for around 7 bucks.

If you ever find yourself in the position to pick up cheap art supplies, think about your travel kit.  Would any of these things work well in there?  If you can load your travel art box with the stuff you need-and leave it in there-you’re packing will be so much easier!  I struggled with packing for our trip so now I’m trying to gather supplies I can just add to the box and forget about.  Watercolors, watercolor pencils, gesso, glue sticks, stickers, scrap paper, black and white paint pens, washi tape, double-sided tape, brushes, gift card scraper, scissors, colored pencils, graphite pencils, art journal and watercolor paper.

You would be truly amazed that such a large variety of stuff will fit in my travel kit.  Yet it does.  I use smaller sizes of everything.  Instead of large sheets of watercolor paper, I use a smaller pad with 5 x 7 sized paper.  Or I take watercolor cards instead.  I use a small watercolor paint palette with very few colors-the expanded primarys so that’s six colors.  I just bought a small set of watercolor pencils.  I put the gesso in a twist top small tub.  Probably holds half a cup of gesso.  I will do this with gel medium too.  I use my water brushes when I travel.  They hold the water in the handle and you just squeeze.  Adhesives are important so I add the easiest to pack ones.  I always throw stickers in the box as I rarely use them and want to get rid of them. Same with washi tape.  In fact, any supply I’m not using goes in the travel kit.  I include a very thin plastic tablecloth, half a plastic cutting board for use as a mat, and a couple markers for doodling.  And it all fits perfectly.

Haul! Craft Outlet and Joann’s

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Craft Outlet:

four Spectrum Noir Alcohol Inks

four Artemio background stamps

Art Basics clear gesso

clear gems

perler beads in pink

Pitt big brush pen-purple

four FabScraps ephemera packs

a American Crafts 180 patterned paper pack

1 set of Urban Stamps by Papermania

2 large stencils

bracelet jewelry kit for Leah

colorless blender refill kit

3 sheets of foam core

From Joanna’s:

VersaColor black stamp pad

Momento Rich Cocoa stamp pad

3 sheets of sticky backed gems

pad of craft paper

roses tags

kraft tags with silver accents

kraft colored paper doilies

Everything I bought at the craft outlet was 50% off today.  So the prices, which are already discounted, were even better.  The Inks were 1.12 each, the stencils were 1.00.  The foam core was a buck a piece.  The embellishment packs were 2.50 each.  The Artemio stamps were 3.00 each.  The Pitt pen was 1.50.  The gesso was 4.50.  All the stuff at Joann’s was 50% off too.  Great buys at huge savings!

Now that I’m feeling a little better, I need to get busy making everything for the art market and the brick and mortar store.  Lots of ideas and big plans for projects!


Haul! Day 2

Laurie picked me up and we went back into town today.  I picked up three more inks-Sepia, Raw Sienna and another Purple Lake.  I use purple often in my art.

We also stopped at the fabric store where I bought an old pattern book for $2.10.  The images are perfect for art journal paper dolls.

We stopped at a second hand store-Shelby’s Place-which supports our local Humane Society.  I bought a wallpaper sample book, an Ikea storage unit similar to this one but like the ones in the photo below,


several vintage children’s books, two pads of calligraphy paper with vintage ephemera images, and a checkerboard stencil.

And when I returned home, my Blick order had arrived!  I have a 72 count tin of Prismacolor colored pencils, 7 Posca white and black paint pens, 3 Strathmore Visual Journals 140lb. watercolor paper, and a new book:  The Fine Artist’s Guide to Tools and Materials from Walter Foster.  I cannot recommend the Walter Foster books highly enough.  They are informative, concise, easy to understand and essential tools in my workspace.  I am amassing quite a collection, in addition to my more expensive art books.  I have learned a great deal from the Walter Foster books and I urge you to investigate them yourself.  If there is a particular skill you would like to develop, I’m sure there’s a Walter Foster book telling you just how to do that.

As you can tell, the last two days have been quite exciting here in the work room.  I love art supplies and I love them even more when I spend next to nothing on them!  Always keep your eyes open for wonderful sales on items you use regularly in your work.  Whether that’s paint, inks, pencils or paper-there are great sales you can take advantage of.

Other great places to pick up art materials inexpensively are Garage and Yard Sales, Estate sales, hardw and second hand stores.  I’ve heard of these places but we have none around here:  Creative Reuse.  Apparently things are donated to this place, you go in and pick out what you want and pay whatever price you feel is fair.  Wish we had these places around here-I have some stuff I could donate!  Also letting it be known around your area that you’re on the lookout for art materials.  Anyone getting out of a hobby might decide to sell you (or even give you) their stuff.  Another tip-never turn anything down.  Even if you have to drive it directly to the dump, don’t reject anyone’s offer.  Even if it’s not something you want today, next time they might offer you the exact thing you need.  Or volunteer at schools, churches, non-profits, for profits-where ever you can think of that might have materials you can use.  They may be willing to give them to you rather than store them or charge you a very small amount for them.  At the very least go to Retail Me Not.  This is a site that shows all coupon codes available for whatever store you type in the search.  I have saved quite a bit of money using this site.


Haul! H.L, Dollar Tree, Walmart


We went out for dinner tonight.  The first time I’ve left the house (other than the one trip to the doctor) since January 6th.  It was time to get out.  And we’re expecting a huge storm tonight.  There were some things I needed so we stopped at Hobby Lobby, Dollar Tree and Walmart.  I bought more than I planned to, and didn’t get every thing on my list.  They were out of some of the things I need.

Here’s the rundown.  From Hobby Lobby:

  1. 16 Daler Rowney inks, on sale at 1.49
  2. A Simply Simmons XL 40 brush
  3. 9-1″ bezel pendants
  4. Aztek pearl acrylic airbrush paint set
  5. Pearls
  6. Rose Shimmer metallic paint
  7. Triple Thick Brush On Gloss Glaze by Deco Art
  8. Three large stencils
  9. 10 sheets of velum paper
  10. two rolls of washi tape
  11. Three 2017 journals, which I will make over into art journals
  12. General pastel pencils-set of two
  13. a somewhat broken set of round magnets
  14. a 3-6 month onesie, in camo

From Dollar Tree:

  1. three sets of heart doilies
  2. a package of 6 little paint palettes
  3. A cake pop book which I will convert into an art journal
  4. a composition book
  5. two pads of lined paper for kids to practice their lettering in-I’ll use it for hand lettering rather than make lines on my sketch paper
  6. 2 sheets of sticker doodle sheets, which you color yourself.
  7. A really cute calendar
  8. 4 sets of two each metal stack-able pots for embellishments
  9. and a Delicious on a Dime cookbook
  10. staples

From Walmart

  1.  Gesso
  2. 2 Daler Rowney sketch pads
  3. 6 mini storage containers
  4. a yellow submarine hot wheel car
  5. 3 packages of 5 x 8″ index cards
  6. and a large package of printer paper

I confess, I’m most excited to use the inks and the stencils.  One stencil has two sheets of circles, one sheet has smaller circles than the other.  The other stencils are herringbone and chevron.  I searched and searched for water-soluble pencils, even though I knew I had two but haven’t been able to find them since I organized everything.  There was no way I was paying 17 bucks for a package of 5 pencils, so I skipped it.  After taking the above picture (and finally getting it to load onto the page-that’s only been a problem for about two months now) and I was putting the stuff away, I stumbled upon my water-soluble pencils.  Still in the package, unopened.  They were in the cubbies behind my chair, but in a spot that I have my texture tools.  Not sure how they ended up there, but I found them and am excited to use those too!

The three smaller 2017 journals and the spiral bound cake pop book will be perfect for converting into an art journal.  I also have a moleskein-like book about keeping track of your wine collection which I found at Goodwill for .60 cents.  These 5 store bought books will be a good addition to my hand made art journals, which I plan to sell again this summer.

The inks are:

  1.  Flame Red
  2. Scarlet
  3. Crimson
  4. Flame Orange
  5. Process Yellow
  6. Yellow Ochre
  7. Indian Yellow
  8. Light Green
  9. Sap Green
  10. Antelope Brown (which looks like a dark olive to me)
  11. Dark Green
  12. Marine Blue
  13. Rowney Blue
  14. Process Cyan
  15. Purple lake
  16. Red Earth

They had no Process Magenta.  I pretty much grabbed one of every color they had left.  For 1.49 each, that’s a really good price.  Normally they’re 5.99 each.  For 1 fluid ounce or 29.5 ml.  That’s an incredible price, actually.  I just looked at Blick and the new Art-C alcohol inks I talked about before are 20 ml bottles, 3 colors for 9 bucks.  So mine are 6 bottles, 29.5 ml,  for 9 bucks.  And they come with a dropper inside the cap.  The Art-C ones don’t have that and the hole is large on the tube, so you waste some ink that way.  Seriously folks, if you have a bit of extra money and are near your local Hobby Lobby, check these out.  You cannot beat the price and the colors are gorgeous.  I found them in the aisle with the watercolor paints in a travel palette.  We’ll be having lots of fun with them in upcoming projects.

Oh, and I have an order from Blick coming too.  I spent my Christmas Gift Card money on some basic but necessary stuff.  Nothing to fun, except the 72 set of Primacolor colored pencils.  I realize their quality control has gone down recently, but to get 72 colored pencils for $20.61 is a phenomenal deal.  Oh, and you get free shipping with an order over a certain amount.  I’m not sure what that amount is but I know I go over it every time I order.



Gifted Haul!

My dear friend Laurie was cleaning out her spare bedroom.  In the past she had used this room for some crafting projects.  She’s moved away from that sort of crafting and gave the supplies she found in the closet to me.  It’s a HAUL people!

There is a huge variety of stuff, but I’ll try to cover it all…We begin with stamp sets.  There were several clear stamp sets which included the acrylic stamping block and an ink pad.  The ink pads were a bit dry so I refilled them with DIY Pigment Ink.  They are perfect!  Next we have 15 or so decorative edged scissors in a lazy susan storage unit.  Paint pens, brush tipped markers, paint sets, small art project kits, liquid watercolors, dye based ink pads, several Xyron machines and refills, stickers (tons of these), wood backed stamps, a cool belt, and stencils, stencils, stencils!  There are several sheets of hard plastic which can be used to make stencils, metal sheets, children’s projects, coloring pages, lots of holiday things, a circle cutter, and a Fiskars auto inking stamp factory.  Two books, card sets, a full set of oil paints, embossing powders and stamp pad, twill tape, and candy molds.

I cannot believe all the stuff Laurie gave me.  And all of it will be used often and with great gusto!

The best part was my Christmas Gift from Laurie-a Bumble ornament! ( I have a small collection of Bumbles and they are out all year long.)rudolph-the-red-nosed-reindeer-yukon-cornelius-and-bumble-the-yeti

There were three others in the kit as well; Santa, Rudolf and Hermy, the elf who wants to be a dentist.  And I love them all.

Laurie is a terrific person and one of the the most talented people I know.  She can make just about anything you can think of.  If she doesn’t know how, she’ll figure it out.  And Laurie is a generous person. Not just because she gives me her stuff she no longer wants, but because she’ll share her information and expertise with anyone who asks.

That’s generosity and kindness.

And it’s also significant.

This willingness to share her gifts and talents with others is a character trait.  It is a integral part of who she is and what she’s all about.  Laurie is a giver.  I am privileged to share her life and her friendship.

My prayer is Laurie is showered with blessings, happiness and peace this coming year.  Of all the people I know, she’s one who deserves only good things in life and I hope she gets them.