CappuccinoandArtJournal

Mostly postal but art and other things of interest too.
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Monday, February 23, 2015

Takin' It On The Road

Don't you just love to see other people's art supplies and travel kits?
I know I do.
So when a blog reader messaged me and said she is going on an extended trip and wondered what art supplies I like to bring along when  travel...well, I couldn't resist doing a blog post about it...even though I have posted about mail art kits in other posts.

I figured you guys wouldn't mind another one.

I do try to keep things pretty simple on the road. But you've got to bring along the most necessary supplies. For me, that includes glue sticks and double stick tape.
I know you can buy supplies while traveling but I don't want to waste time searching for the stuff I need -- and often things can be more expensive.
So I am always sure to bring as many glue sticks and (Diaso) double stick tape as I think I will use.

I also bring along an old gift card or something like that little yellow thing in the top photo to really rub on what I've glued so it is flat. (what DO you call those things?)

I like to bring my favorite pens too -- an ultra-fine tip fountain pen (with refill cartridges) for writing in my travel journal and some fine tip Micron pens for postcards and lists.
And I always bring a pencil.
I like to bring labels too -- use them in my journal and on cards. They always seem to come in handy.
And a little tip -- address some labels at home so all you have to do is stick 'em on postcards or letters you want to send. It saves time  and time is usually at a premium when on the road.

I bring along a very small address book I made -- and I like to wind washi tape on gift cards I pick up....a fun and easy way to bring a variety of tape without a lot of bulk in your travel bag.

Address Book
with labels, stamps, washi on cards tucked inside...



Bring some wax paper -- in a roll or or sheets of it. Very useful  to protect the hotel desk when work/glueing/painting. For sticking between your journal pages so they won't stick together.
I like to bring an inexpensive water color tin (that I can leave at the end of the trip) and sponges so I can do watercolor washes on postcards/collages/journal pages and the wax paper is good to have when you are doing that...

This is a tiny plastic case I picked up in Chinatown and on a road trip I will tuck some tiny rolls of washi inside....
I generally don't bring rubber stamps -- but I did get a small, cheap set of ABC stamps that I am going to bring next time....

You've gotta have a great travel journal, right? And these are my favorites....

I like the paper in these books -- the fountain pens writes beautifully on them and I like the way you can tie them closed....and you can paste stuff on the covers too.
You can order them in various sizes from Dick Blick. I like the 9x11 size best.

Travel Snacks!
I recommend tucking in a few little snacks or treats inside your bag too. You never know when you might need one, especially on a plane. They don't give you much at 30,000 feet anymore!
After gathering everything up you've got to have something to put it in!
(Travel bag made by Dori Singh)

I am so incredibly lucky to have a couple of very special mail art pals who have made the the BEST zippered pouches for art supplies.
i love them so much that i don't even bring them on big trips for fear they will somehow get lost or stolen -- they are irreplaceable!
But I use them like crazy here in SF or on my road trips....

Travel pouches by C.S. in NYC

This is my "local" travel bag (the black/white one). Nice and roomy and perfect to take to collage class or the library or my favorite cafe when I want to make some art on-the-go. Holds the red bag and the water bottle and the black apron and the art supplies.....

For plane trips, I usually pack this Blue Q pouch since I know I can buy another one if the need arises. And zip-lock bags are the BEST. You can see what you've got in them and they seal and are very lightweight. But I bet you already knew that.

Travel Journals
I think the best souvenir of a trip is a fully loaded travel journal. And photos. And collages made from ephemera I pick up on the trip.
You can prepare pages in the journal ahead by giving them a watercolor wash and sticking some stamps inside from the country you are visiting. I always pick up vintage postcards at the Vintage Paper Fair of places I am hoping to visit and use those inside my travel journals too.
On the road, I write and collage in the journal every day. I leave spaces inside for adding photographs when I get home and use a pencil or stick-it note to remind me what I want to put in the empty space.
When I am back in SF, I put all the finishing touches on the travel journal, adding photos washi tape, rubber stamps, etc etc -- a very fun way to extend the trip.

Travel collages

I pick up as much local ephemera as I possible can and often make little books from the city I visited too.
Local post offices often have free postal forms that make great pages for little books.
My basic supple list:
1. Journal & pens
2. Glue sticks, double stick tape and card to firmly attach ephemera to paper
3. small scissors
4. stick-it notes, labels, washi wound on old gift cards
5. cheap watercolors & sponge for color wash

An Open Book

Here's an empty travel journal just waiting to go on a trip. Just writing this post has made me really want to pack a suitcase and an art kit and go somewhere.
But I don't have a plane ticket!
Anybody want to invite me for a visit?????? Or, meet me someplace fun?  I've really got the travel bug now.
I'm a nice guest!

Hope you all enjoyed this post and please let me know what YOU like to bring when you travel. Am I missing any good ideas?

42 comments:

  1. When I travel I make a self made travel journal with rings.Then I add pockets, envelops and a few papers. During my travel I have all you mention with me and a hole punch. I work in my journal every day and finish it at home with photo's just like you.
    My next travel will be in March to Zurich, to my sister. :-)

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    1. What a good idea, Nina! I love that. And I have rings. I have only been to the Zurich airport but that was a lot of fun. Seriously.

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  2. now i want to travel, or journal, or have good snacks! xo

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  3. what another fun post! and I really liked your delightful pouches that hold all those much needed items. old playing cards are great too for wrapping washi tape around :> thanks for all the super ideas....hope to put them into practice when traveling to Thailand in the near future

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    1. You are going to Thailand, Happy day Mail? How wonderful! I bet you will find some great ephemera there. Bon Voyage!

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  4. Yes, pre-addressing labels really does come in handy. Enjoyed seeing all of your lovely pouches and their contents.

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    1. Hi Cindy -- I just love zippered pouches and my pals know it!

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  5. Great idea about leaving space for photographs, Pamela. I can never seem to get photos out of my phone/camera so find that I just don't take many. I wouldn't like to see that white space, so it would be a good prompt. And, ahem, remember that direct flight to beautiful Victoria? Bring Dori. We'll have fun.

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    1. Adrienne -- that sounds wonderful. I just might have to tae you up on it and grab Dori too. I haven't been to Canada in ages -- but my passport is at the ready for a trip.

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  6. Thank you for sharing! You have such wonderful stuff! I love all of your things!
    When I travel I also bring a water brush just in case I need a quick wash of water for my Stabilo pencil. It saves room in my bag & I can drink my water instead of having to use it for art, but sometimes I end up using most of the water in my bottle to refill my pens-depending on how much "wash" needs to be applied and my limited access to a water fountain or sink. :) Snacks are a good idea! I think I'm going to use that idea in the future! Thank you so much for sharing. I love to see what others have in their travel bags! I'm so nosy like that! hahaha!

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    1. I'm nosy like that too, Linda! That is a great idea you have too -- love those color washes. And, of yes, snacks are good. i love to pick up snacks in other countries and then use the wrappers in my journal too -- a good excuse for even more snacks. Thanks for commenting.

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  7. great list of products!! I will be traveling to Europe this April, still trying to decide what I will bring!

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    1. Caterina -- isn't it fun to be thinking about what art supplies you'll be bringing on a trip? And you are off in April? Lucky you!

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  8. Hi Pamela! I have never commented on your blog before, but better late than never, right? I just love your blog and your photos especially. What do you think about visiting Finland? This is an invitation for you. :) Best regards, MissMailArt in Finland

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    1. MissMailArt -- well, a BIG welcome to you and thanks so much for commenting. I have been to Finland -- if you could the very cool airport. I looked in all the shops at delicious jams and rain deer products!! I would love to actually visit Finland and spend some time there -- thanks for the invite!

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  9. I have never done mail art when traveling. Maybe if I had those fab polka dotted scissors I would!! :-o Good idea the wax paper, I wouldn't have thought about it. You're so prepared! And it's true that they are getting so stingy on airplanes these days!
    The mail art bags are wonderful!! :-o XXx

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    1. Marie w -- I should have been a girl scout since I am so prepared!I always find tear and pasting in hotel rooms to be so relaxing.......and yes-- those bags are so special.....I have such lovely friends to make them for me.....xoxo

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  10. Oh so many great ideas! The wax paper is a great one. I was thinking deli paper might work to since it is already flat and folded. And I definitely want to check out those journals you mentioned. On my last trip I had a small 3x5 journal that I used for small collages and sketches of my trip. And a 5x8 for sketches and paintings. I'm thinking a single book like you use would be a better idea.

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    1. cjsrq -- I really love those books. Even tho I bring along the large size I have never had problems carrying it. There is a smaller one tho - you could bring the small one to tote around during the day when you're out and about if you like to write or sketch in cafes. I wrap everything -- travel journal, handmade books from paper ephemera, collages -- in a ribbon when I'm done to keep everything together -- and it is rather like a present for myself. You can just tear off pieces of wax paper to bring too - no need for the whole roll unless you think you'd use it. I wondered about deli paper too but I love wax paper.....

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  11. Fabulous post! Have you ever had any problems taking scissors through airport security? TSA rules say that metal pointy scissors less than 4 inches are allowed, but I don't want to chance it and lose my favorite pair. :(

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    1. Miss Iowa -- I wouldn't bring my favorite scissors if I were you. You can't argue with a TSA agent. I would just buy an inexpensive pair that you don't mind losing. I don't even bring one on the plane -- I just pull out that SkyMall catalog (which, alas is going out of business) and tear. Happy travels.

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  12. I especially love those pouches made by C.S.! So cute!

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    1. shams -- of course YOU would like the hand sewn things!

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  13. You are the master of travel writing to friends and of course of food everywhere you go. xox

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    1. Corrine -- oh yes -- food -- I could do a post all about that too!

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  14. Whoa, Pamela! You should write a book. Honest to Pete. This post is as great as anything I've seen in book stores. I never thought to take waxed paper. Now that's just smart AND wise. Heck, I could use it at home too. My poor lap desk would look so much better if I had. Experience is another mother of innovation. Thanks!

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    1. Why, thank you, Limner. I would love to write a book! Wax paper is wonderful in the studio. I have a roll or two on my desk at all times. I put it over the cutting matt when I am glueing or painting stuff to protect it. And when I want to press things really flat (like collages) I put wax paper on top and stack them under some really heavy books. Also put it between pages of journals so things don't stick.......you will wonder how you lived without it!

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  15. Here you go Pamela! You really should write a book!:

    http://larkcrafts.com/submit/submitting-a-book-proposal/

    PS: Do you use glue sticks on your mail art? I've been disappointed with the little bit of mail art I've done because things stuck with glue sticks seem like they'll fall off in the post. I saw that some people cover everything with ModPodge but when I tried that it just wrinkled everything up - and colors ran! So, I ended up covering everything with wide, clear packaging tape, which looks so rinky-dink... I seem to be completely inept when it comes to mail art!

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  16. Well gee...Polly (and Limner) you are just so nice. And thanks for that link. I'll have t check it out.
    Yes -- I use glue sticks all the time on my collage postcards. My method..put the blank card you are going to collage/glue on a piece of wax paper. I glue twice, on the carn and on the back of the paper i am attaching. I use that yellow plastic card (in the first photo on the blog post or a credit card) to really rub the paper and attach it firmly. If you are afraid of tearing the paper, put a piece of waxed paper over it and run firmly on top of that. When I am done with it I usually put a piece of wax paper on top and a big, heavy stack of books on the collage overnight. I haven't had any problems with things going through the mail.....so give that a try. The other method is to use a gel medium (Golden, Liquidtex) as glue and then brush a topcoat over the work to seal it. I much prefer that to Mod Podge. Hope this helps. I don't know where you live, but I get those plastic "cards" in various sizes for using to attach paper. Similar to a credit card but heavier plastic and in various sizes -- bought at TAP Plastic.

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  17. I normally take a zippered covered notepad with stamps, a few cards, a stack of post cards, a couple pens (fine tipped permeant markers for the postcards) and envelopes. The last year or two I've pre-addressed envelopes to those I know I'll send a letter to, to save time, hadn't thought of labels for the post cards, might need to do that, as my trips are to visit extended family, any time I can save is good! :)

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    1. Sarah--those pre-addressed stickers are very handy! I like how you travel light.

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  18. Thanks Pamela! I'll get some gel medium.

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    1. Polly -- hope you like it! Let me know.

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  19. Great post, Pamela! It is always so fun to see people's travel art supplies. I love the idea of wrapping washi tape around a plastic card; I had not thought of transporting it that way! I also like that snacks are a part of your supply stash. :-)

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    1. I love seeing art supplies too! I heard it is called "winding" when you wrap washi around a card like that -- who knew? But I've been doing it for a long time. Great way to take as assortment of tape with you on your travels. And, also good for trading tape with friends.

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    2. Ooh, tape trading! I might have to initiate a tape trade on my blog...I love the sound of that!

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    3. Andria-- tape trading is fun! I think you could do a trade on your blog. I make them to travel with and also to trade.....

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  20. Now I have zippered pouch envy - you have some great ones!

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    1. I can understand that, Leslie -- I would too. But can't you sew? Make some! i can't sew so I am super lucky to have talented friends who can and make me such lovely things.....

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