Saturday, August 5, 2017

Thrifty Acres: Have Arts And Crafts Supplies, Will Travel

Hello! In preparation for our recent vacation, I began to plan what arts and crafts supplies to take along on the trip. Lately I've been using a scrappy journal (as seen here) to record vacation memories, plus I was going to be finishing up the two-month ICAD (index-card-a-day) activity while on the road as well. 

The number of supplies I like to use for both projects adds up, so I wanted a handy way of carting them around. In the past, I've tossed things like scissors, glue stick, ephemera, rubber stamps, markers and the like in plastic bags, but this method didn't organize things very well. I figured there had to be a better way, and one that didn't involve going to a big-box arts and craft store to buy some pricey organizational system. 

And there was a better way, and for $1.25 at a local thrift store:

A Mary Kay cosmetics bag. Closed, it measures 12"w by 11"l; depth is about 3 1/2". 

Doesn't look like much, I know, but opened, it's a different story:

The left side of the bag has two large pockets, one of which has a zipper. I stashed a bag of ephemera in this zippered pocket, and my scrappy journal in the other pocket. On the front of the top-most pocket is an assortment of small mesh pockets and an elastic band that had been sewn down in sections to create looped holders. I suppose those loops were meant to stash makeup brushes, but I placed a pen and a small pair of scissors in some of those loops. I put a glue stick, a small bag of text pieces and a small bag of patterned art paper scraps in a few of the mesh pockets. I could have arranged even more small bags of supplies if I'd felt like it. 

The other side of the cosmetics bag:

More elastic loops on this side, which are holding a roll of double stick tape, two craft scissors (each cuts paper with a patterned edging), a rubber stamp pad, the ICAD index cards, a set of glitter markers and an alphabet rubber stamp set. On the upper right side is a small, clear zippered bag, which I used to corral a roll of washi tape.

I was pleased with this bag while on our vacation. I had enough supplies to add variety to my scrappy journal and my index cards, and it was easy to find what I'd brought. Sure beats that old method of tossing things in plastic bags! 

For good measure, here's a scrappy journal page from one of our vacation days:

A portion of the takeout menu from Thai Essence, located in West Lafayette, Indiana. I featured Pad Kee Mow, the noodle stir-fry dish I'd ordered. It was delicious, although the three-chili symbol meant to show that the dish had some heat seemed a bit of a mistake. It wasn't spicy at all. 

I also included part of the weekly sales flier from Jungle Jim's, a HUGE grocery store in Fairfield, Ohio (near Cincinnati). It's a must-see in that area!

Of course, you might not be interested in doing collage-type work while traveling, but a bag like the one I got could easily be filled with supplies a quilter, a knitter, a painter or other hobbyist use.

(And if you're not an artsy-crafty type, or at least not while on the road, such a bag could be filled with first aid supplies).

Incidentally, we stopped at a big-box arts and crafts store, Michael's, while on vacation (our daughter wanted to look for a particular decorative item). While there, I wandered over to one of the paper crafting aisles to see what crafting organizational systems were available. I didn't see anything that looked exactly like a cosmetics bag, of course, but one particular bag looked like it would hold roughly the same amount of supplies. Its cost? $29.99. 

Of course, this crafts storage bag featured a pretty design on its exterior, while my bag is just a boring solid black. Just the same, I'm happy with my former Mary Kay product, and its much lower price tag!


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