Little Houses


IMG_0575_resizeI don’t know whether you have ever been ‘bitten’ by this bug – but little houses are such fun to make!  I am hosting a swap at Paper Traders at the moment & I set myself up a little ‘hotel studio table’ on our recent trip and made up my swaps.  It may seem a little over the top, but as I have described before, my DH is a BIG sleeper, especially when we go away anywhere (can you imagine my frustration being in ROME & him SLEEPING until 10am???  LOL!!!) so I always take art projects ‘in a bag’ with me when ever we go away.  Houses & ATC’s are such easy ‘take aways’ because they don’t require anything overly big & I often just use my bits ‘n’ bobs box off my desk, which has all kinds of leftover scraps in it.

(you may notice on my ‘hotel studio’ table there is a red book – that’s my new Alice project – more about THAT in my next post)

Hotel Studio

So these little ‘treasures’ have literally, primarily been made out of scraps (including mARTy’s christmas party hats! – thanx M!).  Mind you (guilty gulp!) that goes no where near helping to reduce my pile of scraps & bits I need to use up.  I JUST don’t have it in me to throw them away!  I think that being a mixed media artist has slowly turned me in to a hoarder.  Luckily we are moving house soon as I will HAVE to purge then….however our next home will be our ‘forever’ house (you know, the one they carry you out in a box from!)  I can almost imagine people having to turn sideways walking down my hallway to get past all of the boxes of my ‘treasures’!@  OK – I HAVE to do better at this!  LOL!!

ART TO GO – travelling with art supplies

I have been asked alot about what I take when I go travelling, so I I’d write up, the things I take, it changes a little each time, depending on what projects I am taking with me & whether we are driving or flying to where ever we are holidaying.   I keep a ‘travelling studio’ list in with my travel list – computers make this sort of thing SO easy – I have an excel spread sheet – there is a trip we make annually – to the same place for a conference – but some times we have different accommodation.  Each time we go away – I review the list when we come back & make notes – so that I don’t have to give it any head space the next time we go – it’s just print out the list and tick it off.

I usually just travel with two bags – a scrapbooking/craft tote on wheels that’s like a small fat suitcase (a bit bigger than carry on size) and the 13 x 13in zip up paper holder, that fits in it.  I don’t always bring the paper holder – it depends if I need full size (12 x 12 paper) – this time I was meeting up with an another artist & we were doing book making – so I wanted to have whole sheets on hand for end papers & such – when I am taking it, I DON’T put it inside my wheely tote (I can’t fit it in!), I take it separately.  The FIRST thing is to think about what you might like to do.  I DEFINITELY have a ‘mourning’ knowing that I am leaving my art supplies behind – there is a tearing about what is left behind – but I have gotten better at it.  Having the right containers for your supplies helps – it prevents damage to your supplies and stops them contaminating other supplies.

My storage is in 3 ways – plastic clip lid boxes, which I use to keep breakables in; soft packing cells, I use mostly for paints & mediums – & clip lock bags – for papers & bits n’ bobs.  I usually take extra clip lock bags (small, medium & large) incase I need it to keep half completed projects together in one spot – or if I need to isolate a problem (a leaking bottle or something)

I have some heavy bodied Golden paints decanted into some small air tight ointment jars – I can fit about 4 – 6 tablespoons in each one & it lasts indefinitely.  I went to Kathmandu (don’t know if you have them – but a mountaineering/hiking shop) – and got some lightweight zip up packing cells. (just strong pencil case type things with a clear top & about a 2in wall.  (see pic)  I can fit about 12 pots in one that is only about 5in x 8in.  Depending on what I am doing – sometimes I take gel medium or other mediums.  As you can see – I use masking tape over the lids – back them a row at a time in a clip lock bag, then seal the packing cell.  ABSOLUTELY no risk of paint migration due to a spill or opened lid.

AS well as that – I usually decant some PVA & Matte medium into sturdy travel bottles.

My other staples are

  • watercolour pencils & watercolour pad (often just the postcard size (can get 2 ATC’s comfortably out of this size with a little to spare – unless I am planning something specific using this – then I take the size I need for what I am doing)
  • caran d ache Neocolours II (selected fav colours)
  • selection of drawing pens & pencils – Stabilo marks all black, brown, blue & white, F, HB, 3B & H pencils, Pitt pens (aquarable), Sakura Pigma Micron (water fast), gold & silver pens (I like Pentel the best)
  • 6 x 6 pads of scrapping paper
  • a few stamp pads – staples are tim holtz burlap & versamark fine black – but I usually add in a couple of colours
  • some unmounted stamps (text, music, mini alphabet, ornamentals, birds, trees – depends what I’m doing) – they all go into a zip up pencil cases
  • ome sparkle – a couple of H2o’s; perfect pearls, some lumeier – again – just depends on what I am doing – but like ALL magpies & bower birds – I like a little bit of something sparkly!
  • a ‘bits ‘n’ bobs clip lock bag – some vintage music in various sizes, some vintage text & dictionary pages, old photos, interesting postcards & or magazine clippings, a few transparencies  (this is basically just left over bits & scraps that are from projects through out the year – I have a big wide drawer that I ‘swipe’ it all into to get ready for the next project – then when we are going away any where, or I want to put together something quickly – I have a plethoral of colours, styles, textures & design. 
  • Some of my own preped papers & card that I use for backgrounds, tags & bases for other things
  • A few sheets of rub ons that work with what I am doing
  • a little jar of trinkets – beads, vintage buttons, charms, jewels, brads, eyelets, etc
  • some little bags of paper flowers,
  • PROJECT specific bits – ie – if I was doing Gothic arches – I may print out some images or transparencies of Renaissance stuff; because I was doing houses this time – I packed chipboard both precut & some for individual add ons or designs.
  • an art journal or some pages to work up into a book at some later stage (some times when I get to our destination – I am inspired to make something totally different than what I planned because of some experience or stimulation I have had)
  • small cutting mat, paint brushes, small & large scissors, exacto knife, bone folder, steel & see through ruler (I like my patchwork 12 x 4in one – as it is grided which makes it easy to square things up if you need to)
  • disposable tools – roll of waxed paper (use to protect surface, as a palete, also to wrap up anything that isn’t quite dry when you need to pack up / move on) – tooth picks, baby wipes, pop sticks (I scoop a little paint out on to the pop stick & use it straight from the stick if I have just a small painting project), gause,
  • AT LEAST ONE – but sometimes 2/3 (depends on how much space is left in my bag) I usually throw in a NEW (don’t peak) cloth paper scissors, Somerset Studios/Gallery mag & a book or two with good eye candy

It’s not really a staple – but easy and cheap to get and it’s a lifesaver if you need it – a small, portable light – I use an LED book reading light that takes recharagable batteries.  It’s GREAT!


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