Favorite Places to Find Supplies

I live in the Pittsburgh area and there are some wonderful local places to find inexpensive or unique supplies. Here are a few of my favorites.

  1. Half Price Books – I don’t subscribe to magazines so when I need to replenish my stash this is where I go. A giant Vogue or In Style magazine is 50 cents and provides lots of photos to used for collage and art journaling.
  2. Thrift Stores- I feel much better about using a hard cover book for a journal if someone else got rid of it and I am not paying much if anything for it. Many times you can find bits and pieces at the thrift store to use in mixed media, journaling, bookmaking and more. I have gotten fabric, buttons and yarn on the cheap!
  3. Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse-When you are looking for lots of weird supplies this is the spot to go to. I have gotten slide frames, tubing, fabric, funky papers, and lots of little bits for my canvases. You can get items by the bag or as single items. It changes regularly depending on what has been donated to them. Fantastic resource for everything from Cosplay to Art.
  4. Top Notch Art Supply– They are small, but the supplies are fantastic! They have the best price on Copic Markers anywhere! I love finding oil pastels, gel pens, markers, charcoal, funky paper, specialty paint brushes, paint sticks and calligraphy supplies. They have the best ink choices of the area!
  5. Garage Sales – This is the perfect time of year to scour yard sales! You may find something that was really expensive in the store for pennies. Old jewelry, beads, craft supplies, machines, utensils you can use to make marks, crafting tools and even children’s games. Puzzles are wonderful for mixed media.

Those are my top 5 go to places for finding unique items to play with in my art.

Keep creating!




Junk Journal Cover

Have you been working on your trashy junk journal? I hope you will try it, it really is so much fun! See how I decorated the cover in today’s video!

Come back Wednesday and see what else I have been working on!

Hugs and love,


5 ways to Play

Finding time to paint, create, sew, scrapbook, knit or crochet can be difficult. You may think to art journal you need to set aside an entire day. Here are ways to squeeze in that much needed play time.

  1. Take 15 minutes in the morning or after dinner and use it for your project. That is enough time to paint 3 or 4 pages or knit a few rows. You can bullet journal in 15 minutes. If you choose that time just for you everyday it will become a habit!
  2. Pick a day each month to devote to crafting. We are all busy in this fast paced world. Having that one day to work on your craft is a fantastic way to unwind. You’ll be surprised what you can get done in an hour or two, let alone an entire day! Schedule yourself a craft day.
  3. Make a choice. If you are anything like me choosing one craft or medium to work in is difficult. I love so many different things. I tend to do a lot more papercrafting in the spring and summer months. Sewing, Knitting and Crochet seem to be more Fall and Winter months. I also find if I spend a day painting lots of pages in my art journal to prep them for future use I can spend 15 to 30 minutes a day adding collages or word art.
  4. Get together with friends. I love having other people around to bounce ideas off of and share enthusiasm with. Especially if I get to teach them a technique or something they have been wanting to learn. I get to practice what I teach and get better at it each time.
  5. KISS–Keep it Sweet and Simple. If you are just beginning don’t bog yourself down with a lot of inventory. Pick your craft, get a handful of items for starting and keep it to a minimum till you know if you really enjoy that craft. Nothing is worse than getting a lot of something you never ever use again. Simplicity will save you money and time!

Let me know what crafty things you have wanted to try but never got around to. Are there projects you started and didn’t finish? Think you want to try and finish them now? Or are you off and running to the next thing? I’m off to work on my Junk Journal! Join me Saturday to see how the cover is coming along!

Go make something!



An Artistic Journey

I meet so many people who say things like “I could never do what you do! I am not artistic.” “I am not creative”. Usually with that sad tone to their voice that tells me they wanted to try but never had a comfortable opportunity. I always say “That is exactly what I thought. It just isn’t true”. Maybe it wasn’t a focus in school or you didn’t have a relative who could teach you the basics. Now you have the internet with copious options, maybe too many, and you just wouldn’t know where to begin.

My journey began when I was little. My earliest memory is finger painting. I love the bright colors and how they blended together. The simple joy of mixing, swirling, making a mess or a flower. From there I created scenes from cut paper, my favorite being the stage from a ballet I saw when I was about 4. Midsummer Night’s Dream in leftover bits of paper, boxes, paper dolls, stationary and glue. Then life got busy and the most I did was create collages of anything and everything.

I learned to knit, crochet and weave about the same time. I joined 4-H which brought me sewing, wood fiber and silk flower making, cross stitch, and other artistic opportunities. After high school I didn’t do anything with art or craft for a couple years. I think knitting popped back up first as a way to relieve the tension of college. I think I always had collage as a medium though. I love putting photos together, eventually taking up scrap-booking. Design and layout became useful as I created albums of  wedding photos for a photographer. Fast forward and here I am constructing books and playing in Art journals.

So what are 5 things you can do to get started on your creative journey?

  1. Search Pinterest, google the types of art or craft you think you are interested in trying. Art journaling is a great place to begin as you don’t need to be able to draw, you can start with recycled items and build from there.
  2.  Budget! Yes, that is the dreaded B word. Art can get expensive! If you know your limits and budget an amount for supplies it will make decisions easier. If, for example, you go with Art Journaling find inexpensive paint, maybe purchase a stencil or make your own, paintbrush and paper or an old book to get started with.
  3. Plan your time. Most of us are very busy on a daily basis. It doesn’t take a lot of time to play in your journal. If you dedicate 15 minutes here or there to the craft you choose that is enough time. If you have 2 hours on a weekend GREAT! Just as you plan life, plan time to relax and try something new.
  4. Don’t beat yourself up. As a new artist you want it to be perfect, or for the item to be finished right now. It takes more than a couple hours to knit a scarf or sweater. It takes time to get used to a new medium. It isn’t going to look like Van Gogh immediately. It takes time. Just let go and have FUN with it.
  5. Start! Don’t put it off. The longer you wait to try, the more regret you will have later on. Collage photos from a magazine, doodle your day, write a poem, pick a famous quote and paint around it; all great ways to begin!


Gather ye Trash bits while ye may

Here are a couple examples of trash you can gather to make your treasure:



In the first photo I have left over packaging, a polka dot bag, a museum card, plastic packaging, puffy mailer piece and other bits and pieces.  In the 2nd photo I am showing a couple options for book covers. The raisin bran box was cut in half although you could make a giant album or cut it smaller. Size is up to you.

The next step is to organize and decide what you want to use in your junk journal and how you want to use it.  For example I plan to use the Spellbinders pieces as covers for a couple signatures. If you don’t like the height of something cut it to size. It would normally just get recycled or tossed so be sure to make it what you want it to be.

Now you need to decide how you want to cover things and what pieces should go where. This is where you organize your junk into signatures for your books or journals. If you have a box you are planning to use as a cover as in photo 2, plan your signatures around that size. I like to make the inner pieces at least 1/4 inch smaller than the cover to be sure the pages aren’t sticking out too much.

Join me next time when I will have a video on preparing your covers! For now enjoy the bonus signature video below! Go gather that trash if you haven’t already.



Bonus video: Signature  Trash