Thursday, July 28, 2011

The usual suspects: Materials i love and get every year!

As I stated in my previous posting, I'm currently in the throes of the annual supply ordering for all of my classes. Before I started at my present school I had zero experience in this area. My first go round of supply ordering took me a month. Kind of excessive? Well, I had a VERY tight budget that year and so that month I took was used cross-checking prices on every single product I had on my shopping list so that I could stretch every dollar I was given to the absolute limit and my diligence paid off handsomely because I believe I saved upwards of $400-500 by ordering between two of my most reliable suppliers - Dick Blick and Nasco. These days I order mostly from Dick Blick since they do maintain very competitive pricing on top of having very quick shipping and top notch customer service but there are some things that I will always return to Nasco for even if it saves me a measly $10. (I mean seriously? Ten bucks can go a long way when you're talking raw art materials and tools and could help me replace/upgrade something that is long overdue for such a thing. Call me cheap or frugal or a vigilante - I don't care because it yields me having a beautifully stocked studio for my talents students to use!)

All this being said, I'm a bit of a materials/supply junkie. (THERE. I SAID IT.)

I'm a huge fan of trying out new supplies in order to get the most optimal results possible in every project I do -  whether personal or in my art classroom. I'm always on the lookout for upgrading things that aren't quite that great to work with but I also have a running list of products/brands that I am incredibly loyal to. The way it goes is if I find something and I like it a lot (not even love it) I will stick with it pretty loyally and not budge. (So suppliers? Do it right the first time and I promise you I will stick with you for the longest haul ever!)

I have at least a dozen tried and true supply that I re-order every single year because they are such a hit in the classroom with the kids, they are beautiful to work with, and they are pretty reasonably priced. Curious what they are? (This might be a boring repeat for those of you who haunt the product and materials review section here on the blog) Here you go...

There is more than just that but that's the most of what I always seem to put on my supply list year after year. The quantity of anything (in case you were wondering about that) is determined by the number of students I have in my classes. Since I teach a a private high school, the students I work with pay supply fees per each art class they take - studio and digital alike - and so this helps tremendously with keeping them in the freshest and highest quality/grade supplies possible. I know that the brands I've noted above are some of the best brands out there and many who read the list will be amazed that my supplies budget can afford the things I have noted year in and year out but it's honestly because of the supplies fees that are collected! (And I know this type of thing is a HUGE blessing when compared with the budgets that have to be juggled in the public school sector or even on the college level when poor college students are charged with getting specific items on supply lists and they always end up trying to "make-do" as much as their wallets can't bear.)

Anyway, I'll update again with more about supplies ordering in addition to specifics with regard to new projects I'm doing this next year! And if you ever EVER have any questions about anything I post here on the blog - be it about the supplies/amounts I have just discussed, specifics about supplies as they pertain to projects/lesson ideas I feature on here, etc. - please don't hesitate to contact me via email at dreampraycreate{at} Thank you!


  1. I've never used Aquabord before. In what capacity do you use it? And do you use the posterboard for collage projects, like construction paper? Thanks for sharing!

  2. I use aquabord for the watercolor projects instead of just watercolor paper. It's essentially a porous and beautifully textured clay like surface on heavy board (to stand up to the moisture/water that comes with the painting with WC) that makes the final/finished pieces so much more substantial feeling without framing them out. I use posterboard for collages and other larger scaled design/colored projects. I usually got that large Pacon value pack and then trim them as I need to and save the scraps for the school to use for general purposes OR for use in the artroom (the kids like them to decorate each others' lockers for birthdays, upcoming sporting events, etc.) The construction paper is something I keep onhand for general use - collages, the mask project, etc. It's just part of our regular stock.


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