Saturday, April 2, 2016

#AtoZChallenge, B is for Buy a Butterfly

Happy Saturday, all! The perfect day for some art journaling and for today's topic: Buy a Butterfly, or, Sometimes it's Good to Shop.

In yesterday's post I emphasized the importance of using as much FREE STUFF as possible for your journal, but today I'm singing the praises of treating yourself to a trip to the hobby-, dollar-, thrift-, or art supply store. Nothing fancy, mind you, but every now and then your journal could use a little store-bought item or two. And taking yourself to buy some supplies makes the perfect Artist's Date.

My favorite way to do this is to set a budget of about $10 - $20 max, and then drive off with no expectations whatsoever, just an open mind and a sense of adventure. Some of the things I'll look for include: 

  • Bags of collage goodies: from paper scraps to die-cut card pieces, such as the butterfly featured above. I've bought collections that are based on a theme, such as beaches and ocean-side designs, or vintage clothing and Victorian sayings. Other bags have included a variety of fascinating but totally unrelated items; one bag I bought even had tiny little clothes-pegs and safety pins in the mix. None of these bags cost more than $5.00 and they were jam-packed with inspiration.
  • Old and very-bad-condition books. These are excellent for tearing up and re-using the pages of text and/or illustration for journal backgrounds. (Note: if the book isn't completely falling apart, it can be turned into your actual journal as an "altered book.")
  • Bags of ribbon scraps.
  • Pre-cut fabric quilting squares. These are usually bundled into small color-coordinated packages.
  • Stick-on pearls, rhinestones, and other blingy-type thingies.
  • Jewelry-making components such as pendants and miniature printed pictures for inserting into clear pendant-cases. (I don't know how to exactly describe these pictures, but they're wonderful for collage. Each sheet usually has about 20-30 different designs.)
  • Stickers! So many to choose from!
  • Scrapbook pages sold in tablets or as individual sheets. (The tablets can be pricey, but they're often on sale, especially at the discount stores.)
  • Origami papers.
  • Craft magazines. Good for inspiration and cutting up for a wealth of words and images.

And that's just for starters. After I come home with my treasures I usually sort them into different categories of size, theme, or color. I then keep everything in a series of cigar boxes for the smaller pieces, and photo-storage boxes (decorated of course!) for the larger bits.

On today's page I've used a background of watercolor crayon, some leftover strips of a scrapbook page, four pieces of die-cut card from a purchased package, and a lovely quote from a lovely member of my writer's group. She had included these in our Christmas cards a few years back and I always knew I'd use mine in some meaningful way down the road--like today. 

For the written part of my journal, I'm going to continue with "I remember. . ." recalling the time my first-grade teacher brought caterpillars to class and we placed them in an aquarium filled with leaves and branches. I'll never forget watching the "worms" (I was a rather squeamish child) form their cocoons, and then the wondrous day when the butterflies emerged to fly out the window. Some things stick with you forever, with or without the glue-gun.

Tip of the Day: The next time someone asks what you'd like for a birthday or holiday gift, why not suggest some supplies for your art journal? I love it when someone surprises me with a grab-bag of notions and "puzzle pieces." Not only does it give me some interesting insights into how other people think (i.e., why they chose particular items over others), but I enjoy the challenge of using things I may not have picked out for myself. Wishing you all a creative weekend!


Mildred R Holmes said...

I try to suggest such things, and I have yet to get them. Beads, thread, needles, cloth, once even asked for a subscription to logic puzzles. Son did get me a logic hard cover book for my birthday,

betty said...

It must be fun to see what you accumulate over your shopping adventure to add to your supplies :) I would imagine too a gift card to a favorite hobby or craft store would make a great gift too :)

thanks for visiting :)


T. Powell Coltrin said...

I love butterflies, first of all. Secondly, thrifting and hobby shopping are my favs.

Susan Brody said...

How ingenious! I'm not an artist but my daughter is. I'll suggest your tips to her! Thanks, Valerie!!

Deb Atwood said...

This is so fun! I've never done an art journal. I'm guessing maybe the art page is on the left, and the writing page faces it on the right? Do you use a ringed binder to put the pages in, or how else to keep the book from bulging outwards?
@deb_atwood from
Pen In Her Hand

Bish Denham said...

Oh, if only I had the time and space! I'd love doing something like this. I'm a visiting minion with the Joyful Brigade. Have fun!

Valerie Storey said...

Love these comments! Thank you for the input and ideas, everyone. Mildred, sounds like a gift card such as Betty suggests might be the perfect answer.

Deb--for this particular journal I am using individual sheets that I will bind together in some way at the end of the month. I create the collages first, then write about them on separate sheets that I'll place with everything when I do the binding. This is a new technique for me. Usually I just use a hard-bound heavy-duty blank sketchbook, and yes, the pages do tend to bulge, so I use a strong rubber band or similar to keep the pages closed. So far this has worked well. Thanks again for asking!

Linda Jo Martin said...

Your shopping list is fascinating. I wish I could go to a hobby store... but I have no car and there's nothing nearby. Still, I got some workable ideas. Thank you.