Tag Archives: craft supplies

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ArtSnacks is like a magazine subscription — only instead of a magazine arriving every month in your mailbox, you’ll get 4 or 5 different art products to try out.

Honestly, it’s a bit more pricey than a magazine subscription; prices start at $20 a month (with free shipping for those in the US). But it’s far more likely to get you past inspiration into actually making something.

ArtSnacks is brought to you by Sarah and Lee Rubenstein, the brother-and-sister team behind EatSleepDraw. More details here.

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Inspiration For Making Your Own Frames

I like this post at Elemental Cheapness in which Sabrina Mantle shares her creative ideas for reusing items to frame art. Creativity doesn’t end with the artwork — display can be creative too!

Most, if not all, of Sabrina’s examples come from cheap discounted, discontinued and As Is items from Ikea. That means what she shows may not be pieces you can actually snap-up yourself, but there’s plenty of inspiration for keeping your eyes open to possibilities… Discount isles, thrift stores, garage sales… Your own basement! You know I love thrifty ideas!

The most practical idea, shown below, is the simple use of glass, strung and hung with ribbon.

I also got a bunch of 7×9 pieces of glass with holes in corner (which I threaded ribbon thru) at Ikea’s As Is department for 50 cents each, just finished mounting photos on those for upcoming show I am doing, they look great!

I really like the idea — both in terms of aesthetics and the re-usability. Just slide the photographs and images out, and put new ones in, so it would be a great idea for art shows. (Acrylic options might be more suitable for ease in carrying about and careless shoppers.)

Fear Of The Blank Paper

Staring down the pristine, stark-white surface of a blank page can be soooo intimidating… This phenomenon occurs with writers too. So what can you do when you’ve got your supplies all set, but that blank white page just stares back at you, taunting you, teasing you, bullying you…

Well, if you’re like Steve Thompson, maybe you carve your Crayolas into Star Wars characters.

If pencils are your tools, Dalton Ghetti‘s carved graphite works may be more inspiring to you.

If words are (supposed to be) your weapons of choice in the creative fight against the blank page, how about carving those pencil tips into letters? (Also by Dalton Ghetti.)

Take that, blank paper! We’re still getting our art on!

Creatively Organize Your Workspace

At Design Sponge, Haylie Waring shares her creative solution for storing, organizing and displaying sewing notions:

Due to the lack of space in my studio, I am constantly forgetting what notions I have packed away in my organizer containers that I keep hidden in a storage closet, or up on my highest shelf. When you don’t know what is in those containers, it is hard to know where to begin, and I am often tempted to just go out and buy more supplies. This DIY project is the solution to that problem, and it seconds as art work on my work-space walls.

…Also, I like to tag each board with a number that will match up with the storage container where you keep your coordinating back-stock, so things are easily located.

Included in the step-by-step project instructions are two of her original 8×10 design templates. And while she’s used buttons & ribbons, there are lots of other options for beads, fabric swatches, lace, etc. Scrapbooking fans could adopt this for use with papers, stamped image, etc. too. The sky’s the limit!

Painting with Stamp Markers

A lot of materials produced and marketed for crafting use also have applications for more “fine art” oriented artists.  One example being stamp markers.  These are felt tip markers marketed for used with rubber stamps.  Their key quality is that these markers are slow drying.  This allows them to be used to paint the surface of a stamp, and stay wet long enough for different colors to be applied before the stamp is pressed to a surface.

I was attracted to stamp markers as a tidy and compact alternative to paints.  They offer a lot of the versatility of paint, but are much more portable and easier to organise if you have very limited space available in your home.  For example, they can be brought out and backed away again in a simple pencil case. There are a lot of different stamping markers, the set I bought are from the Dee Gruenig Signature range produced by Marvy.

If you use stamp markers on normal paper the result is similar to any felt tip marker (see above right).  However they become a lot more flexible when used on a high gloss or cardboard.  Here the long drying period allows for a lot of painterly effects including blending, rubbing, scraping, smudging and erasing.  In fact, unlike paint, stamp markers can be completely erased from a surface even once fully dried.

The limitations of the markers relate to the same qualities that make them interesting to work with.  If applied too lightly the marker will bead up and withdraw from the surface as it dries, turning a pastel wash into a scattering of dark dots.  I am currently finding it hard to avoid white fringing my marks, as shown in the picture to the left.  And even when dried, the markers smudge easily and it is very difficult to avoid marring the surface with fingerprints.  At this point I am not sure what finishing product would protect the surface and not interact with the highly soluble ink.

You can see some of my other stamp marker sketches on my blog–if you have used them yourself, please drop us a comment or a link!