My watercolor travel kit started with watercolor crayons, but this summer (a summer in which I am home ALL THE TIME) I fantasized about travel and improved my portable watercolor kit. You know, so I am ready for whenever I get to travel again.
Eye shadow palettes make really good watercolor palettes – the little wells are already there, they just need to be cleaned out and filled up with tube watercolors. I had some trouble finding ones that were on their way to the dump, but over the summer I did manage to collect 3. The smaller to went to my kids (with hot glue used to make smaller compartments as needed). The bigger, glorious 32-well compact, is now mine and I love it. I don’t even have enough colors to fill it all! I started with a Sakura Koi set of 18 tube watercolors, so I mixed some together and left some wells empty for future expansion.
Want to make one?
Once I found an makeup compact that I wanted to use for paints, I started by emptying whatever makeup was left (these were all used) and washing it with soap. I had to use q-tips to clean out the corners when I left the metal pans in place. The one that I removed the metal pans from needed the glue removed.
Once dry, I laid out my watercolor tubes and filled each well. A toothpick helps for stirring the wet paint and ensuring it spreads to the corners.
After filling up each well, I left it to dry for 24 hours. Once it’s completely dry, it’s ready to use!
I was inspired by City Lab’s Map My Neighborhood project, so I sat down to think about my own house. It had just snowed again that morning, so we had the fire going and it was feeling more like winter than spring. But later we let the sheep out to graze and the lambs were running around chasing each other, and I was drinking my 4th cup of coffee, and this is what I drew.
I have been stitching stars while we are home for isolation. They are an easy formula for me — I have a mental map of the star in my head, and I can chose a variable or two, but they don’t take a surge of mental energy to begin. I can gather a few squares, chose a color or two, and then begin, usually without a plan for the full color arrangement. I check in about half way to see what it needs, or there is a nagging thought while I work, and usually it takes a day for me to accept this idea — rainbows, black and white tiling… I reject and tell the star “That is too hard. Please don’t make me do that.” But soon it feels necessary and I release myself to the time it will take to stitch.
For the last month I have been only able to stitch stars because they are my comfort. Some nights, after the kids are asleep, I sit in my stitching chair and I just hold my star-in-progress, and I can’t seem to focus enough to actually stitch anything. I usually end up twitching and touching my phone and losing my scissors endlessly. Some days I drag my brain through reading lessons with the kids while I try to stitch a starpoint without them noticing (not likely). I have lost some stars on my desk or in my paper piles (I usually lose them in my purse, but that isn’t happening these days), so this isn’t the full collection. I’ll find them as I look for other things that I have lost, and maybe then I will hang them on my wall so I can look at them and feel their steadiness.