Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Don't let tight finances keep you from making art

Many of us are spending a lot more time at home these days instead of going out for dinner, shopping and movies, so what are we going to do with this extra time that has suddenly come upon us besides vegging in front of the tv?

Make stuff!

Making art can be the best therapy for stress there is, we can work out our fears, lower our blood pressure, create new visions of our hopes and dreams and make gifts for our loved ones steeped in our creative blessings.

We are living in times that feel uncertain and frankly a little scary. With tight budgets many of us are feeling guilty spending money on ourselves or on anything that is not an absolute necessity.

There are several ways to make your craft dollar go further, here are a few of the things I do:

Use plastic dairy containers for rinse water and the lids make great paint palettes too. When finished painting, let the leftover paint dry on the plastic lid, the next time you are ready to work peel off the dry paint in one piece. If there are spots of thin paint stuck in a few places, rub the piece of dry paint you have removed over the paint like an eraser, it will pull up any remaining paint off the lid.

Buy textile paint with a friend(s).
8 oz. bottles of textile paint offer a big savings compared to small 2 oz jars.

You can buy large jars of Lumieres and Neopaque paints here.

Split up those big bottles of paint and store in 2 oz plastic bottles with flip tops. Don't forget to use a Sharpie to label the bottles with the paint names.

Paint in a squirt bottle makes it so much easier to put the desired amount of paint onto the palette. You will waste less paint when you can control how much comes out, I have poured out too much paint from jars so many times.

Buy reasonably priced synthetic paint brushes. Robert Simmons makes a good quality inexpensive brush for acrylics, I often buy this brand for smaller round and flat paint brushes. For large flat brushes I often buy the Da Vinci Junior student brushes.

Take care of your brushes so they last longer. Be sure to clean your brushes well with a bit of dish soap when you are finished painting, to remove any paint lodged at the base of the bristles. Do not leave brushes bristle down in the rinse water when not using, it will bend and ruin the points.

Buy pfd cotton sheeting for painting and dyeing at affordable prices.
Silk Connection on the west coast. User friendly website for ordering.
Test Fabrics on the east coast

Keep creating! It's good for the soul.


  1. Reading your blog is good for the soul too Judy. Your suggestions are really good and usable ones. These times are scary and seem to be getting more scary with each passing day. Our art, our act of creating is one positive thing that we can do. Thanks for reminding everyone.

  2. Anonymous10:56 AM

    judy, i second carol's comment, that visiting you here is always good for my soul too.

    your suggestions are great, and thanks for the link to the pfd fabric sites.

    perhaps this tough economy will help folks rediscover the joy of making gifts, which might just be a blessing in disguise.

  3. Thank you, I think I will go create today.

  4. great ideas Judy... now i've got to get to creating..
    Oh and by the way - tag! you're it. details on my blog.. thanks for playing!

  5. Thanks Natalya,

    I am such a party pooper, I get tagged fairly regularly and I don’t play along any more because I feel like I would be repeating myself too often on my blog. And I don’t know how many more new and unusual things I can think up about myself, lol

  6. Thanks for the great tips. I've used yogurt and cottage cheese containers for mixing dyes for years, but when I started playing with paints, it never occurred to me to use the lids for palettes!


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