Monday, November 2, 2015


"Necessity is the mother of invention"
38 days of my summer were spent exploring woodlands and waterways from simple streams and babbling brooks, to winding rivers and large lakes, to salt marshes and a deep wide ocean.  Each of these places inspired my creativity and the desire to create in that environment.  Each journey I would pack a little kit of supplies that I thought I might use.  First there was the plastic shoe box but it was too small, then there was the plastic boot box but it was too large, then there was the little brown leather train case but it was too bulky, then there was tote bag but it was too jumbled.  Necessity became my mother of invention.  I had a problem, finding the right amount of supplies in a ready to go traveling container that was flexible in function so I could easily change out media to suit my creative needs, this encouraged a creative effort to meet my need and solve my problem. 

Using two old book covers I designed a small travel size art journal and a book size traveling art kit that will fit in a small back pack:

I used vintage Victorian scrap to collage the fronts of the books with a nature theme:

An old broken harness buckle from my grandmothers farm found in the barn:

A plant press is tied to the front of the book for my nature gathering:

Underneath the plant press is another small nature collage using a vintage French post card and more Victorian scrap:

Pockets hold collage materials and little fabric pieces I can glue, paint, or stitch on:

The next section holds some loose dyed papers to use as collage or paint bases plus a piece of stitchery I am currently working on:

Behind the papers I have clips to hold journal pages while working on them if needed in a windy outdoor setting and a mini paint palette made from an old acrylic cd cover: 

Lastly the back section is constructed of compartments that hold supplies: basic water colors and acrylic paints, small tube of gesso, medium water brush pen, washi tape, sketching pencil, black sharpie, white gel pen, glue pen, water soluble graphite pencil, kneaded eraser, pencil sharpener, 2 spools of thin wire in silver and copper, folding scissors, thimble, needle, and 6 colors of embroidery floss: 

NOTE:  The tubes of water colors were gifted to me and this was the first time I had ever used this brand, I don't recommend them, horrible clean up if they get on your skin, its like permanent marker and the texture and spread-ability is not great.  These will be replaced immediately. 

The only thing that would not fit into the kit were a small set of water color pencils so I packed those in an old Faber Castell pencil tin.

I wanted a small art journal to work in as well as the loose leaf papers and fabric projects:

Hand dyed sketch book paper pages bound into an old book cover:

More Victorian scrap, handmade fabric leaves, and scrap bits decorate the cover:

The Handy Man and I took a 4 day weekend this past weekend and I was able to test out the kit:

My attempt at a young male Cerulean Warbler:

Perfect traveling companions!

I am looking forward to many more happy artful explorations with this kit!

What are your favorite take along art supplies and how to you carry them?



Lululiz said...

I am totally bowled over by your ingenuity, its brilliant!

bobbie said...

Brilliant!! Useful, pleasing to the eye, and convenient ~ what's not to love?!
Hugs ~

sjmcdowell said...

Oh my, oh my!! Your Art Kit is a work of art all on it's own. How wonderfully thought out and constructed. What joy this will bring you for years to come. I love that you used some elements from your family's past. Brilliant and Beautiful!! xoxo :)

Marianne said...

you flippin' amaze me ! i love this !

AppleApricot Wen said...

Brilliant AND beautiful!! Amazing work and great idea Sandy!

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful, beautiful and unique art kit, simply fantastic!

Magpie's Mumblings said...

Your necessity came up with the perfect Goldilocks solution! I must admit I don't carry art supplies along with me. I work entirely with needlework and my embroidery frame is much too large to tote from place to place. If I take anything along with me it would probably be my knitting (socks being the go-to project for that).

Lady Locust said...

So tell me Sandy, do you ever tire of creating such beautiful art? Once again ~ it's all so overwhelmingly awesome, in the real sense of the word, not the surfer term.

Vee said...

The most wonderful art kit that I have ever seen! I read with interest your commentary on the paint. My daughter has started a paint brand and so has turned her kitchen into a little factory. It is pretty crazy. Forgive me if I have mentioned it before.

susan hemann said...

wow, i would love to take that in the woods with me, what a treasure!

Karen B. said...

I hope WOW says it all. Amazing work!
Karen B. ~ Todolwen

Caterina Giglio said...

Sandy, this is stunning and would you mind if I featured your post with a blog hop on my blog? amazing work!! x

Decor To Adore said...

Oh Sandy I am just overwhelmed at the beauty of this book. You are a visual delight!
Have a wonderful week!

Laurie said...

Brilliant Sandy! I want to come up with something similar for my upcoming beach vacation! You have inspired me!

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