For our first pocket of time together, grab your favourite brew and make yourself comfy while I introduce myself and ramble on (and on. and on!) about all the possible materials you might like to gather for this playshop. That video is below but first, a word about supplies.
I don't want you to go out and spend lots of money here - especially if you are just starting out - as this is not about feeling at all precious about materials.
Let's remove any concern about 'ruining' anything and just let ourselves play with child-like curiosity.
Re-cycling and up-cycling are hugely encouraged!
One single product I do consider worth investing in : GESSO (typically white, but is now also available in black and clear)
Gesso is a primer paint that is fantastic for covering up the layer beneath and also gives a good 'tooth' (grip) for following layers of paint to adhere to [e.g. if your substrate is glossy in which case paints would just peel away once dry - the gesso layer grabs hold of both that glossy surface underneath and also the paint surface (or whatever you use) on top].
(If you have a primer paint left over from some home DIY / decorating, feel free to give that a try. Have a read of the pot and it might tell you not to use it on certain substrates. Or you can always try it out on some scrap paper or cardboard and see what happens)
You can use it as a foundation layer, or you can use it for covering up things you don't want seen (e.g. magazine pages or junk mail/adverts), or when your substrate - whatever it is you are making your mail art from - has really dark colours on it and you want to use light or bright paints on top; one or two layers of white gesso will mask that dark shade and stop you needing to waste multiple layers of your light/bright paints in order to cover up that dark base.
And of course you can simply use gesso as a white paint - especially if you would like to be able to write on top of it once it is dry (it makes a fab alternative to white paper for the reverse side of a homemade postcard!) ; Pen and pencil will write on this surface much better than on top of standard white acrylic paint or craft paint or oil based paints.
So for those times when you don't want to stick paper down and write on the paper, you can use gesso so that you have that chalky/gritty tooth to write on. Or if you don't wish to write on the entire side of your creation, and only need a small section to write on, you can just paint that small area with your gesso - so versatile!
I have provided links below to Gesso products on Amazon USA, UK, and Australia. (If the item shows as unavailable, try selecting a different quantity size). But this is just to give one example. Please do feel free to support a local supplier or an independent art shop or alternative online retailer.
Amazon USA : :
Amazon UK : :
Amazon Australia : :
1 - Welcome Video & Materials Run-Through
NOTE : : On all of the videos you will see the option to download the video in the bottom right hand corner. You will only see this option once you press play on the video. You can then pause the video in order to click the download icon. Next to the download icon you will see two outward-facing arrows - press this and you can watch the video full screen (always the best way to view them in my humble opinion).
I recommend downloading all of the videos so that you have no streaming issues. You will then be able to watch all of the videos in order, one after the other on your computer (added bonus: as long as you save them all in the same folder on your system then after you hit play on the first video, the rest should auto-play after that as well! - at least they do on my machine) with no dependency on wifi, internet bandwidth, or waiting for buffering or any of that nonsense ;o)
If you do choose to stream videos here on this page, a tip to help them play smoothly without stopping (especially if you have low internet bandwidth or it is peak time) is to press play, let the video start playing, and then press pause and wait while.
The video will buffer (you might see a bar move along the bottom of the screen). Allow 30 seconds or a minute for the video to buffer, and then press play. This should avoid the stop-starting which sometimes happens while live-streaming.
And if THAT doesn't work, I have provided you with an alternative link (to You Tube) below (you'll see it beneath part two of the video). You cannot download from YouTube, but it does buffer so much better and so will play more smoothly if you are choosing to stream your videos rather than download them.
I hope that helps! xx
The two videos above are the only place you can download from.
If, however, they aren't streaming very well for you and you need to watch them here right now and not download them, then please try using this alternative link (just be aware that you will not be able to download the video from here) : :
Let us know what discoveries you make with your own found materials over in The Playroom
and also please state on any photos or videos that you share if you don't mind me sharing them, and we shall collect some of them below right here on this page. Let's inspire each other with the novel ways in which different materials might be fun to play with!
Gather, connect, play, experiment and share ideas in...
(c) Angela Heather - Ki Life Coaching - Ki Life Crafts - Nomad Dreams