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Stuff I Love

People often ask me, where I shop, what my favorite things are to use in my cooking, baking, painting, art journaling or crafting.
For the most part, I link to the specific ingredients in my recipes and blog posts, but I have also collected all the things I actually use in my Amazon Store. So, if you are ever wondering, check out this link. For your convenience, I have categorized the various items into areas of use, so you can quickly and easily find them.
Having said that however, I do want to highlight a few of my very favorite and most used things.

|Art Supplies|Printing/Cutting|Photography|Art Courses/Tutorials|Books|Kitchen|


My favorite places to shop for Art supplies are:
Blitsy gives great savings on arts and crafts supplies, but you can’t really use it as a “I need it now” kind of place. They have what they have when they have it and at no other time and shipping can sometimes take a couple of weeks. However, Blitsy is great for stocking up on all kinds of non-urgent items.
Amazon is usually my go-to place for a lot of my shopping, art related or not.  I am a Prime member and enjoy free 2-day shipping, which really can’t be beat, especially in combination with some really good prices. However, some more specialized items are often not that great a deal, which is when I turn to Dick Blick. They have pretty much everything I might ever need art wise in store and their prices are really great.

So, without further ado, here are some of my favorite art supplies!

This is definitely my favorite and most used gesso. It covers, it textures, it gives a great key and it puffs up beautifully when using the texturing with gesso technique.
It also doesn’t crumble once dried after puffing it up, but holds it’s shape nicely!
LOVE my heat “gun”! Not only does it save me from waiting for paint to dry, it also works great on puffing up gesso, drying texture paste, mediums and for use with embossing powder! I had my  Uchida Embossing Heat Tool for about 9 years now and it’s still going strong!

Ahh, the search for the perfect eraser - it was a long one!
After many, many trial and errors, I have found that the Prismacolor Kneaded Rubber Erasers are awesome! They have been rocking my sketching and shading world!
Following closely behind in the eraser love department, although used for different things,  is the PaperMateTuff Stuff Eraser Stick .


Caran d'Ache Classic Neocolor II Water-Soluble Crayons- Love, love, love them! I use them in pretty much every one of my paintings as the main component! The picture on the left is my “face bundle.” The base colors are always the same, even though the brown and pink tones may vary from face to face. My favorite face/skin colored crayons are: Salmon, Flesh, Salmon Pink, Orangish-Yellow, Sienne Naturelle, plus Bordeaux and Raspberry Red for the lips.


I have to admit I am slightly obsessed with this pen! Most of us mixed media artists and art journalers are always looking for that pen that can take anything into it’s stride, and still write and flow as we want it to, even over slightly wet paint, not quite dry mod podge, several layers of goodness, etc. Well, for me this is that pen! It’s only available in Christy Tomlinson’s store, as far as I know!

While talking about pens - of course, the next thing we all look for is a white one that does all that! Somehow, they are even harder to come by than the black ones. I have tried so many white ones, it's not even funny. The white Posca Paint Marker (in various thicknesses) is the best fine point white pen out there. It writes over anything. Awesome for adding those white touches to journal pages and art pieces!

I love using perfect Pearl Mists on my art work and my art journaling pages! They give them that little bit of shimmer and shine, that extra special drip (love using them for dripping) and are also great for putting some color/shimmer in textured backgrounds. I use many of them, but Sunflower Sparkle is a particular favorite of mine!

I also love the Ranger Distress Ink Pads. My most used ones are Old Paper, Antique Linen, Tea Dye and Vintage Photo. They are all wonderful to age and distress pages, elements and to run over textured gesso or texture paste to take some of that stark “whiteness” away!
Even though I use all kinds of acrylics paint, my very favorite ones are the Golden Fluid Acrylics.  They are vibrant and great for transparency, layering, collaging, mixing colors
and much more.

Love Dylusions Ink Sprays! Pretty much all my splatter paintings have  a high percentage of Dylusions spray inks in them. They are water soluble, acid-free, non-toxic and very vibrant!

I love this paper! It serves a dual purpose for me. I use it as my cover when I craft/paint, to protect my work surface. So, all the drips, sprays, scribbles and smears go on that paper. I also use it as an impromptu paint pallet and to clean my brayers between colors, etc. Over time it fills up and makes the most awesome paper scraps to use in my art work! See more about that here! And here.

             

  • I love my Canon PIXMA Inkjet Printer - it does such an awesome job of printing lab-quality photographs as well as gorgeous art prints with incredible detail!
  • My all-time favorite scanner, is the CanoScan 8800F Color Image Scanner! It absolutely rocks with crystal clear images, true-to-life colors and precise sharpness! I have had mine for several years now, and it is still going strong!




    I generally use Photoshop to edit all my photography and I love,  love, LOVE Paint The Moon's Photoshop Actions! They can take an already good photo to a whole new level of awesomeness and can make a so-so photo into something really special!
    If you want to try before you buy, Annie has a few first class free actions on her site!





    Here are some of the courses I have taken (or am currently taking) and have loved!

    Carla Sonheim Gelli Printing Classes


           

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Karen Milstein


    Simply Painting Faces










     Textile Mixed Media Angel Doll


    Fabulous Faces

    Life Book 2015

     

     



     

     

     

     



    Life Book 2014

         



    Start Drawing: Techniques for Pencil Drawing

    This is a great skillshare course by Gabrielle, especially for learning facial proportions and shading!



    She Art Workshop #1 and #2

        


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    All the above are paid courses, even though relatively inexpensive. I would also like to share with you my favorite free resources.
    Tamara Laporte (aka willowing) offers lots of amazing youtube videos,  as well as a fantastic free online course called Art, Heart and Healing.

    Isabelle Zacher-Finet Her whole channel is amazing to watch, both the instructional videos and   the speed painting ones. All but one or two are in German, but that doesn't tend to matter, as she shows what to do. For the instructional video I linked you to, check out the comment section. I provided a "brief" translation for the English speakers.

    Donna Downey has a whole host of great tutorials.
    Pam Carriker has some great little tutorials on her youtube channel too!

    Rach0113 has a great channel for mixed media art instructions. It's such fun to watch her!

    Christy Tomlinson also has a great instructional youtube channel!



    Diet, Lifestyle, Health & Beauty:

    Gut And Psychology Syndrome (GAPS) - Natasha Campbell-McBride
    Against All Grain - Danielle Walker
    Against All Grain- Meals Made Simple - Danielle Walker
    The Paleo Kitchen: Finding Primal Joy in Modern Cooking - Juli Bauer, George Bryant
    Nourishing Traditions - Sally Fallon
    The Nourished Kitchen - Jennifer McGruther
    Beyond Bacon - Matthew McCarry
    Every Last Crumb - Brittany Angell
    DIY Organic Beauty Recipes - Heather Dessinger
    DIY Non-Toxic Cleaning Recipes - Heather Dessinger
    Oh Lardy's Guide To Fermenting Fruits And Vegetables - Kelly Liston
    Asian Pickles - Karen Solomon
    The Art Of Fermentation - Sandor Katz
    Cure Tooth Decay - Raniel Nagel (it's more about nutrition than just curing tooth decay)
    Dancing With Water - MJ Pangman

    Art:

    The Artist Way - Julia Cameron
    Paint Mojo - Tracy Verdugo
    Collage Couture - Julie Nutting
    The Art of Whimsical Lettering - Joanne Sharpe
    Flying Lessons - Kelly Rae Roberts

    Inspiration:

    The Gifts of Imperfection - Brene Brown (also the Parenting Version!)
    Daring Greatly - Brene Brown
    Living Nonviolent Communication - Marshall Rosenberg
    The Shadow Effect - Debbie Ford,  Deepak Chopra, Marianne Williamson
    Being You, Changing the World - Dr. Dain Heer


    More to come!




    As much as I love the traditional ways when it comes to food preparation, I also love my gadgets. I don't really like gadgets for gadget's sake, but I do love modern conveniences in the kitchen, that save me time, preserve or even enhance the nutritional value of our food and diet.

    Granted, a few of these machines are a bit of an investment, but they are absolutely worth it to me!

    1.) Vitamix. What can I say about this awesome powerhouse of a blender? I use it every day! From smoothies, to nut milks, to homemade mayo, to custards, soups, sauces and batters and doughs for baking - it all comes out of this awesome little machine!

    2.) Kitchenaid Stand Mixer. Again, it is in pretty much daily use around here. If anything needs, whipping, beating, mixing, extruding or grinding - this is my go-to appliance! I also use a meat grinder attachment to grind my own meat and use it as an extruder for home made sausages.

    3.) Instant Pot. Oh, let me count the way I love this thing! For a start, it has a stainless steel insert! No non-stick coatings, no aluminum! It's an electric, programmable pressure cooker. So, it's pretty much a "set it and forget it" kind of pressure cooker! You can adjust it in any way you need to, or you can use the pre-programmed settings! In addition to that it is also a rice cooker, a yogurt maker (yes, AND you can make over a gallon of yogurt at once, if you need to!) and a slow cooker! Since it also has a "saute" function, you can sear meats right in the pot, then add your liquids and either switch to pressure cooking or slow cooking! SO convenient!
    And, if you are one of those people that are really concerned about a pressure cooker exploding on you - don't be! This thing has so many security features, if there is ANY pressure at all left, it won't allow you to open it.

    4.) Omega Masticating Juicer. I have only recently acquired one of those and it has been awesome. Not only does it truly squeeze everything out of the fruits and vegetables I juice (and I mean DRY) it is wonderful on leafy greens. I get so much more juice out of things than with my other juicer, which was a pretty good juicer too. But not only that, because it is a masticating juicer, the nutritional value of the juice is much more preserved, meaning that it is retained long after the usual 30 minutes that you have to observe with other fresh juice. So we have been enjoying green juice every day, but I only need to make it every other day!
    In addition to that, it is wonderful at grinding nut flour, making nut butters and frozen fruit sorbets. It is also great at extruding doughs, making specialty pasta making much quicker and easier. I also love to make homemade "larabar" type treats with it by simply adding the dried fruits and nuts and letting it do it's thing!

    5.) Food Saver. This is an invaluable machine when you are buying in bulk. And with a garden or if you are buying bumper crops at the Farmer's markets, this machine helps your food stay fresher for longer, be it fresh or frozen. I also love to use the jar attachment to keep food in my mason jars packed air tight to keep it fresher for longer!

    6.) Victorio Food Mill.  This is my favorite food mill. Granted, it is not something I pull out for small jobs - this is my "make applesauce/tomato sauce/ketchup/salsa, etc for the whole year with the inexpensive organic bumper crops" kind of food mill. But for those times it is wonderful. No peeling or coring, just cook it, put it through that mill, which is easy to operate (after a few bushels your arm gets a little tired, but that's about it!) and very efficient.

    7.) Excalibur Dehydrator. I have had dehydrators for many many years, and they have worked fine. However, only when I switched over to an Excalibur, did I realize just how much faster things can happen for me now. Not only that, my items are now truly dry and in much less time than before. It is also adjustable temperature wise, which makes it so much easier to customize! Since I soak and dehydrate all our nuts and seeds, make fruit leather, dry herbs, fruits, vegetables and prepare a variety of other items on almost a daily basis that require a dehydrator, this is an invaluable machine for me.

    8.) Ice Cream Maker. Whatever eating plan you may be on, chances are that commercially available ice creams won't work for you.  Ice cream is not only a lovely treat however,  it can be a very nourishing part of your diet, especially when you have children. The amount of "good for you" things you can "hide" in an ice cream that has the kids clamber for it, is amazing!
    For years, I've been making ice cream with this Cuisinart Ice cream maker, but just this Christmas, I got unexpectedly upgraded to a Cuisinart Compressor Ice cream maker! Both work wonderfully at making ice cream! The compressor one does have the added benefit of being able to make ice cream at the drop of a hat, without ice or salt or pre-freezing. And you can keep going and make ice cream after ice cream all day long, if that is what you want to do!

    9.) Smoker. Of late, especially since going on GAPS, I've been making all our meats myself. Not only can I use the kind of meat we like to use from local and trusted sources, I also know everything that goes in it. I was lucky enough to purchase fairly inexpensively, an only lightly used smoker from a local Swip Swap place, and it has been a wonderful addition to my food preparation. Delicious home made bacon, ham, smoked sausages, smoked chicken, turkey and, of course,  smoked salmon! This is the model I have and I can highly recommend it!

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