My supplies are definitely  MY BAG OF TRICKS.  I call them this because when I was a little girl I loved to carry a shopping bag with handles and put my 'stuff' in it to 'make things' with the stuff I collected  I loved to carry scissors and I cut up everything in sight and put it in my 'bag'.  When something could not be found in the house, everyone said "look in Loren's bag.  She probably cut it up".  I did!

This selection of 'TRICKS' are the things that make my art happen and come alive.  Some things are just good brands of products, and some are unique ways I use products or supplies. I will constantly be adding new materials , ( my "tricks" as I call them) so keep checking back to see what's new.  These are some of the tricks that are must haves to create my art.

I discovered this one day when I was painting and I was struggling to use a rag to remove the paint from a small area. I realized that a Q-tip might work and gave it a try.  It definitely did the "trick".  These are great to clear away paint from the canvas, when you want to almost totally remove it.  The Q-tip lifts the paint up and reveals the canvas and texture.  I use a CVS brand that has a lot of cotton on the tip.  I go through alot of them working on one painting, but I don't mind because they work and I love them.  I was once asked by a painting teacher if I used white paint in certain areas.  Much to his surprise, I told him "no" and kept the secret to myself!  Ahhh...trickery!

Sewing and the finger-
Don't you just hate this?   Some time back, when I was sewing with embroidery thread, I kept getting the thread tangled into knots in the back as I was pulling it through the fabric.  I tried to use my hand in various ways to pull the thread through, and I found that when I put my pointer finger in the loop at the back of the fabric and pressed it against the fabric, the thread was not able to knot up. It's a simple "trick" but it seems to work well for me.   Give it a try and let me know how it works for you...

Plastic wrap over new stretched canvas-
I love to save the plastic wrapping over my new canvas when I am starting a new painting, I love to use it to wrap my brushed for a few hours.  It keeps the paint wet for at least couple of hours.  When I go back to my painting, I just unwrap the plastic and Viola! wet brushes.

"X" marks the spot-

Have you ever purchased a pad of paper and tore a piece out of the pad, and then later, have no clue which side is the front, with the workable surface?  Well, I have and this is my "trick"  for how I solve this problem.  Right when you get home after purchasing a pad of drawing paper, bristol board, watercolor paper, etc. turn the pad over to the back and place an "X" with pencil on the back of each piece of paper.  It may take some time, however, it is worth it. This is a great way that you will always know which side is the front (workable) side and which is the back.  The front side of paper etc. has a different surface, which makes it have the ability to accept different drawing mediums, such as pen and ink, pencil, marker, as well as paint and watercolor.  If you have a bristol board pad you can even put the surface type on the back, "smooth" or "vellum".  This really helps to distinguish the similar looking bristol boards. When I purchase a good quality Strathmore or Canson paper, I also write the brand on the back, so when I want to do just a sketch, I don't use my better brand paper. I will use my generic brand and I put an "X" on the back of this paper, as well.  Lastly, watercolor papers can come in a variety of brands and weights, so this is a great way to know what weight they are and what brand they are, as well as which side is the front.