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Crafts You Carry

Posted by on Aug 21, 2017 in Craft | 6 comments

Watercolor

Anytime you see me, there’s a good chance I have my watercolor kit with me. It’s also not unusual to have a roll or two of washi tape in my bag and/or a few ultra fine tip Sharpies. Maybe a partly finished scrapbook. You never know when you might need to craft on a moment’s notice!

travel-scrapbook

My friend Anne always has knitting with her. It has its own little bag. If she has to wait for someone or is in a conference session, she’s working on a scarf or a sweater or hat. Unlike my watercolors, she can knit without looking at her project much, so it’s particularly good for things like sitting in Phoenix Comicon panels.

paper-bag-scrapbook-supplies-ed

Do you carry craft supplies or projects with you? What’s in your bag?




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Playing Card Mini Journal (WIP) and Las Vegas Trip

Posted by on Oct 17, 2016 in Craft, Travel | 6 comments

Vegas has never seemed like my scene, but Phillip and I are planning to be there in a couple weeks. His longtime friend Michael, who now calls the area home, is getting married, so we’re taking a road trip! image It’ll be my first time in Las Vegas (outside of a brief layover en route from Indiana, which doesn’t really count). So I’ve been researching things we might want to see – both on The Strip and beyond it.

I also started making a mini scrapbook with playing card pages.

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Even if the glitz and excess I associate with Vegas isn’t so appealing to me, there’s more to every place than meets the eye. I’m looking forward to searching out spots that tell different stories.

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PS In case you can’t see them, the Instagram shots are a photo of Mr. Cheeseface on a slot machine and a video of take-off over the lights of The Vegas Strip.

Microblog Mondays: Write in your own space

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Make a Travel Journal from Envelopes

Posted by on Apr 4, 2016 in Craft | 8 comments

The envelope travel journals we made in my most recent Southwest Maker Fest workshop came from a combination of this upcycled junk mail project and a simplified version of one my friend Trish came up with.

Envelope journal

The idea is that you can make them from just a couple envelopes and some string, and then have a pocket-sized way to record memories from your next trip.

Envelope journal

1. Fold an envelope in half – use a #10 (DL) envelope or experiment with other sizes, upcycle junk mail or reply envelopes, etc.

Envelope journal

2. Punch a hole or two in the center (on the fold).

Envelope journal

3. Cut the top flap at the fold or remove it altogether.

Envelope journal

4. Repeat with one or more envelopes.

Envelope journal

5. Thread yarn, string, or twine through the hole(s) of all the envelopes and tie them together. (Alternatively, you can bind the envelopes with ring binders, paper clips and/or rubber bands.)

Envelope journal

Envelope journal

The envelope outsides have become pages for writing, drawing, or collaging the story of your trip, and you can tuck momentos inside.

Envelope journal

Envelope journal

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Last-Minute Traveler Gift Guide

Posted by on Dec 23, 2015 in Craft, Travel | 0 comments

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If you’re still looking for gift inspiration, here are some ideas.

All of these items are things I actually own, use, and love:

1. Designhype Metro San Francisco Cuff – Yes, there’s an actual metro map on the bracelet! Mine is for San Francisco, but Designhype also makes these for Paris, NYC, and other cities.

2. Moleskine Journal – For travel journaling, lately I’ve been starting with a blank Moleskine, writing about the day, and using washi tape to attach ticket stubs (like the transit pass from our Re:Make trip) or folded programs or whatever I happen to collect. The cahiers 3.5″ x 5.5″ size comes in a 3-pack and is really convenient for carrying with you. I throw one in a quart-size ziploc with my ultra fine tip Sharpies and washi tape and take it along, in case I want to journal on the plane or while we sit at a cafe. Some brick-and-mortar options: I’ve seen these at Changing Hands Bookstore and Target, but you can find various sizes of Moleskine journals lots of places.

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3. Sakura 18-Piece Koi Assorted Water Colors Field Sketch Set with Brush – Super portable watercolor set with a brush that holds water inside of it (so you don’t have to fiddle with a separate cup) and folds up. Since Jennifer Mack introduced this to me at Craft Camp, the link above is her Amazon affiliate link.

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4. Bodum Travel Press Coffee Maker – Basically, it’s a shatterproof French press you can drink out of. This is especially great for camping, but you could also use it to upgrade from the hotel coffeemaker. I’ve had mine for awhile, so I didn’t see this exact design – I linked to one that’s similar. I just saw these at Cost Plus World Market.

5. GoToob Travel Bottle – Humangear travel bottles are made to keep from leaking, and mine has been fine when altitude changes have made a mess out of cheaper bottles. They have this neat little ring you can twist to designate the contents (sunscreen, soap, etc.), but they’re also food safe, in case you want to fill a small one with sri racha or a bigger one with pancake batter. I’ve spotted these at my local REI and Target. I think they may have been a little cheaper at Target, but REI had a much bigger selection.

6. REI Flash 18 Pack – Very comfortable day pack with a streamlined silhouette. It’s great to throw stuff in for a day at a convention or on a hike. In the photo, Phillip is wearing it while admiring the view from Mt. Lemmon. Since this is REI brand, they’re most likely only available in REI’s stores and site.

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What travel gifts do you love to use or have on your wishlist?

P.S. This DIY spice mix is also easy to make, and there are more ideas in our last-minute Christmas guide.

Not a sponsored post.

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Open to creativity

Posted by on Mar 30, 2015 in Craft | 2 comments

About a dozen people of all ages showed up for my workshop at Southwest Maker Fest Saturday.

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I talked a little about making minimalist travel journals that you can start during your trip. Then I gave everyone an envelope with odds and ends to represent what you might pick up on your travels — attraction flyers, paper scraps, coffee sleeves, Travelcraft Journal stickers, etc. Then I set them loose to create something that told the story of their day.

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Because the room I was assigned to was in a children’s museum, some of the parents assumed it was a “kid thing” and were surprised when I handed them an envelope to create one too. Also, the open-endedness of the project freaked a few people out a bit at first.

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But, by the end, everyone — kids and adults — really got creative and made some fabulous things. They journaled, they drew, some of them went outside the booklet format and got architectural, building things with their materials.

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I love seeing people open up to creativity.

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