Saturday, May 29, 2010

Supply Saturday

I take lots of online workshops and I also read tons of blogs (can’t you tell by all the blogs I subscribe to?) Through those venues I am always learning about new (to me) supplies to use in my art and art journaling. If it is recommended by an artist or workshop teacher that I respect, I will often run out and buy something they tout as being great to use.

This does not always end well. 

Some of the supplies I have invested in at the recommendation of (or sometimes just by the use by) my beloved art friends are not ones I wind up liking or I find they are not worth their cost when there is another supply that is as good at a better price.  Because of this, I thought I would make a list of supplies that I like and find cost affective so y’all can see what I use to create my art as well as what supplies I have found that don’t work so well for me.

Well, a list like this would be HUGE so I’ve decided to start a series I’m calling “Supply Saturday,” where once a week I will rate various art supplies and give you my thoughts on each one I critique.  I’m going to rate each product/supply on a scale of 1 to 10; with 10 being the best and totally worth the money and a 1 being not worth the cost at any price and a poor (in my opinion) choice of products. 

As we all know, opinions differ from person to person so you may love something I’ve not had great luck with but this is just how I see it.  I just hope that some of my experience through trial and error (not to mention wasted money) might help some of y’all out.

Each week I will cover one supply that I really like and one that I think is overrated.  I will tag each of these posts with Supply Saturday so, if you happen to miss a post you can always find it by the tag.  Oh, and if there is a supply that you’d like to see critiqued in a Supply Saturday post, let me know…I would love your suggestions.

Anyway, let’s get this party started (LOL)…

  • Moleskine Journals~I really like these great qp014-l-pocket-classic-moleskine-sketchbookjournals. I have only used the sketchbook and the  watercolor Moleskines so I can’t tell you anything about the lined or grid (although I do have a grid, I just haven’t used it yet).  I tend to use quite a bit of wet media (acrylics, watercolor, gel mediums, glues, etc.) and the sketchbook I am finishing up right now has held up superbly to my extreme abuse…probably just as well as the watercolor Moleskine. If you are buying a journal to work in (as opposed to making your own or buying a handmade journal, the two best options if you ask me), then you can’t go wrong with Moleskine sketchbook or watercolor journals. The biggest downfall to these would be that they can be a bit pricey, depending on where you buy them, and that is the one thing that really keeps me from giving them an higher score.  All in all, I give the Moleskine sketch and watercolor journals a rating of 8.
  • Coccoina Glue Sticks: A wonderful artist and Coccoinadear friend of mine loves these glue sticks and uses them  exclusively in her art journaling. Because of her love for them, I had to give them a try. Contrary to her wonderful outcome when using Coccoina as her adhesive, I haven’t had that same great result in using them. I will admit that the fabulous almond scent to these glue sticks is absolutely mouthwatering but they just don’t seem to adhere papers, ephemera and magazine clippings into my journal as well as many other adhesives I have found will do.  The price is relatively high and, in my opinion, not worth the cost, the stickability (yes, I just made that word up…like it? lol) is even less than Elmer’s School Glue Sticks unless you really use a thick coat of the product but admittedly the smell is yummy…because of these factors I give the Coccoina Glue Sticks a rating of 2. (My suggested alternative glue stick? Uhu brand.)

Well, there are my Supply Saturday critiques for this week. Don’t forget to leave any suggestions for future Supply Saturday posts.

I hope you’re all having a great Memorial Day weekend.

Peace & Love,

Disclaimer: Take these ratings as you will, these are my opinions only and none of the supplies I rate here have been provided by the manufacturer but have been bought and paid for with my own hard-earned money. 


  1. I agree with you wholeheartedly. LOVE LOVE LOVE the Moleskines! I'm a fan of acrylics and I'm a bit heavy handed with them. The heavy pages work are fantastic!

    They are pricey but Barnes and Noble runs them 50% off a lot. I believe you can get the sale online too.

  2. I think ya reviewing art supplies is wonderful! I know with the economy being the way it is, we artists need to know where to put our hard earned dollar. How about doing one on ya pens? Then paints, even some unusual items ya use to create ya backgrounds with. Such as say an old toothbrush to splatter paint with. I know I have a ton of odd items I use to create my backgrounds. I hope ya enjoying ya day hun.

  3. I think this is a great idea! I have not tried the glue stick, I have to say that I have had good luck with the cheap and huge glue stick Scotch Craft stick.. I tried another one that was different and it just clumped up got used up too quick and was bad overall. I will look into the one you mention! As far as the moleskine, I LOVE mine, I really do.. it's my first art journal but I have loved it, it takes a beating fairly well, for just collage and no pain I like the blank 3 pack moleskines as well. But for a mix of things you can't beat the sketchbook, amazon has decent prices for them.

  4. Great idea! Appreciate your review...although it MIGHT influence me to go out and buy, yet more, art supplies! WooHooOOOO!

  5. This is a great idea Barb. Looking forward to more reviews.

  6. This is great and I will look forward to each Saturday for your reviews. I agree about the Moleskines. My favorite journal. My first one, that I just finished in March after working in it for 4 years is a squared journal. I did everything I could to it, and even though I glued pages together to make them stronger before the water hit them, the single pages worked well too. I just started a new Watercolor Moleskine for my next journal, and I could see from the start that alot of water and paint is going to make the perferations come loose, so I taped over them with book binding tape. Now on to glue sticks; I have never used the Coccoina, but I like the Tombow Gluesticks. They are blue and are very creamy. And I like Uhu also. I am going to love "seeing" what you like and dislike in supply's.

  7. This is such s great idea, and such a great help! Thank you! I do love handmade journals (and tend to hoard them) but I love my new set of moleskines. Today I will get a new gluestick, a uhu, because I have noticed that mine is "unsticking" ( is that a word?) under pressure. And by pressure, I mean under the pile of creations in a journal that will no longer close well! That's good! ~Kathy

  8. Great reviews!! I am looking forward to more. Maybe you could do a review on watercolor crayons and things like that too. :)

  9. I love this topic! I really look forward to reading more of them.
    I've wanted a moleskin w/colour but haven't been able to bring myself to spend that much... yet.

    gluesticks has been a hard one for me because I react very badly to fragrance (migraines).
    Which seems to be added to almost all gluesticks.
    uhu, ross, pritt and almost all of the big names have it as well as most of the store brands I've tried.
    so far the Elmer's is safe for me, as is some 'tacky' brand from Walmart. But I sure could do with having one with better 'stickability'! Great word by the way :)

  10. Hey Barb, have you tried gluing from the center of the image out (making sure to get glue all over the back) and then gently burnishing/smooshing with an old rag? That's how I get everything stuck down. :D
    I like the 40 gr glue stick because it seems to last forever (I bought a 10 pack last year from amazon and I'm just running out now, a year later). I also like the scotch, avery and tombo glue sticks that are all marked permanent. :) I like big glue sticks that last a long time and stick well. :D

  11. awesome idea & info. thank you much for doing're detailed experience is truly a help...yet another inspiration factor to stay tuned into you! ;)

  12. What a great idea. Thanks so much for taking the time to share your thoughts and ratings on these products. I look forward to finding some new items.


Thank you so much for taking the time to drop by. I am open to any comments, questions, suggestions, critiques, etc, so lay it on me...
Peace & Love,

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