Portugal Supply List

                    It’s time to gather supplies and make preparations for the Journey...

When packing for long distance travel it may be challenging to decide what to bring because obviously you can’t bring it all.  So a paring down of supplies and finding smaller versions of favorites is going to be essential. It will be a fun project to pack light! There’s not much to it. Below I have detailed descriptions of necessary supplies which makes the list look long, but all of this should easily fit into your JMU (Journal Mobil Unit) with a few items needing to go into your checked suitcase. I also keep a waist bag on my person for my passport, small sketchbook, a few pens, and a mini water color set!

Have journal, will travel!

india1.jpgPortugal Packing Tip #1: When I went to India in 1999 with my sisters and Mother, I traveled with a plastic baggie that I had just a few supplies in and also collected ephemera such as maps and train tickets as I went.  My India Visual Travelogue was 6” x 8” and spiral bound, which was nice for working in tight situations where I didn’t have a lot of room, such as packed buses.  I kept both of these in a side pocket of my backpack.  Spiral bound is nice because it can fold back onto itself, though I prefer hardbound. And these days, I pack a lot more, but that was my first trip abroad, and one really doesn't need much to create a remarkable souvenir of the journey.

Priority Tasks:

1.) Choosing your book (See "Book Show and Tell" videos They focus more on choosing a visual journal than a sketchbook, but you will get a lot of ideas!).  Your Visual Journal/sketchbook/travelogue is the #1 most necessary item.  This book will indeed travel, so size will be important, and perhaps thickness.  Feel free to email me if you are unsure about book choices and I will be happy to help you out. meandpete@msn.com

2.) Packing your Travel Art Bag or Journal Mobil Unit (JMU) (See Pack it up videos coming soon!). #2 most important decision is What are you going to carry your stuff in?  Like your Visual Travelogue, this is a personal decision. Do you want a clear bag so you can easily find everything?  Do you want a little case with a handle and a zipper, a back pack, a fanny pack, a shoulder bag, or something cheap and functional like a ziploc baggie?  Do you want a case that your supplies and book both fit nicely into?  Be realistic about what you can and cannot carry. You may want to walk around with this book/bag for a day and see how it goes.  We will luxuriously lay out our supplies at the Pink Buddha Studio, so you can pack extra supplies in your suitcase, paying attention to weight (see your airline specifics for weight limits per bag). You will also want a day pack or day bag, relatively light to take on our expeditions into Porto, Guimaraes and the countryside which may double as your purse.  (Many liquids or larger bottles- such as paint- your will need to check. Right now, you can bring three ounces each of whatever fits in a small quart plastic baggie. Though I always pack more paint in my luggage, I usually find I don't need more than what fits in my carry on plastic baggie).  I usually have a travel kit for the plane, and then bring a few extras in my check in luggage. (I also like to get a window seat because then I have just a little more room to spread out.)  For on the spot journaling and note taking, you may want an even smaller book or notebook and just a pen. 

greecedelphipage.jpgPortugal Packing tip#2:  From a visual journaling trip to Greece, one of our participants had a great Le Sportsac fanny pack - very chic - which fit her Moleskine landscape size journal/sketchbook, a few pens and her water colors as well as passport and money, and she was good to go, everything was conveniently on her person with her arms free!  In Egypt, I had a mini Moleskine and mini pen set that fit perfectly into the pocket of my cargo pants, no bag necessary! Some of you could be very brave and opt not to bring anything and just get it all there. Or you may be like Destiny Voyages partner Lou Ann Granger, and bring a bunch of cheap stuff, and then just leave it there for some budding journalist!

At the Altar of our own Creativity

Visual Journalists need a supply of things that are precious to us to encourage a meeting with the self.  Our voice deserves beautiful and magical items to aid us in our expression.  I encourage you to walk into a store- even if it’s just the grocery store- and purchase something that appeals to you- don’t worry about high art, art, pleasing the teacher, impressing the other participants, or anything else, buy the thing that looks like fun, that looks pretty, that makes you stop- and if you say oh no, not me, then that’s the thing you should definitely get!  Commit to your creative and authentic voice by surprising her with something frivolous and outlandish!  Yes fringe!  Yes pink glitter glue!  Yes Hello Kitty mini gel pens!  Yes Goddess rubber stamps and Acrylic Glaze or paint in extraordinary and vibrant colors.  You don’t need to buy a whole set- offer yourself at least one gift.  You deserve it.

Basic Travel Tool Kit

Okay.  So now you’ve got 1.) your Book for your Visual Travelogue, and you’ve 2.) Chosen your bag or case for your supplies.  Let’s pack it up!

3.) Scissors. (Find out from your airline for international travel what the rules are for scissors.  I have traveled to Mexico with small kids rounded scissors, and to Ecuador with small pointy scissors.  Then I usually pack a big pair in my check - in luggage).

4.) Glue.  I think the best glue for travel is a Big gluestick. It’s convenient, not so messy, works fast and dries well.  Do not waste your time or energy with a cheap office brand glue stick or brands like Ross and don‘t bother with small ones.  They seem practical because they take up less room, but they are terrible to work with, so don’t skimp on size.  I usually bring 2 big ones on the plane in my quart size baggie and pack 9 more in my suitcase.  I have fear of running out of the gluestick I like so I always bring plenty. Avery is fine for me. 

5.) Your favorite writing pen(s).  Consider that we are working quickly.  You may want your favorite writing pen that smears and takes a while to dry for in the Studio, but for on-the-spot artistic and verbal excavations, you may need something that dries immediately. And you may want a couple colors.  I like black and red.

That’s as basic as it gets.  But keep reading because I have some recommendations to make your pages more fun, but none of this is necessary, and it is all up to you.  So gather your stuff, and then only pack what fits.  If you really wanted that water color set, but it won’t fit, opt for a few water color crayons.  Still won’t fit?  Break them in half.

501656018_iro7q-O.jpgPortugal Packing tip #3: When I was packing for a month long artist residency in Morocco last year, I wanted to bring absolutely everything. I was overwhelmed. An artist friend told me, "you know what Juliana, when it comes down to it, all you really need is a pen and paper. Actually, you don't even need paper; you could write and draw on napkins, menu's, garbage." I didn't heed his advice, but he is right!

6.) A pencil.  You can bring a regular number 2, or you can get an ebony pencil or graphite stick from the art store.  We will want to do some sketching.  Some pencils don’t fit in my case so I break them to fit.  You will need a small pencil sharpener. Always keep your pencils sharp  (Mostly I sketch with my plain Bic pen- there are no rules.  But sometimes I like to work with a pencil. We will also need a pencil, graphite stick, or crayon to do tracings and rubbings.).

7.) Color: one of my students gave me a great travel Windsor and Newton watercolor set.  I love it.  It’s small and it fits neatly into my case and even has a little brush with it.  (Then on the plane I order water and use the last of it for my paints.) When I went to India, I brought some cheap water color kid’s set from the grocery store- it was disappointing.  But brush markers can add color quickly as well and also blend with a little spit or water.  In markers, just bring a few colors. Sometimes you can find mini marker sets or little hello kitty mini pencils.  That stuff works great for us.  I highly recommend you bring a small container (jar or tube) of white acrylic.  I got a cool mini white acrylic in Mexico I love! Now I use cheapy craft paints like Anita's or Apple Barrel- perfect travel size, and I like the opaqueness and matte coverage, perfect for layering of supplies and mixed media explorations.And then I bring a few other small tubes or containers of paint.  I like Pink and turquoise.  Don’t worry about having a whole set of anything, pick the colors- just a couple of them- that choose you - even if it’s just because they match your case- it will be amazing what you can make work with very little.  I have certain colors that I love, so I always make sure I have them  (red, black, yellow ochre). Linda will have plenty of paint at the studio for us to use, so don't go overboard. Just pack a few you will need in your JMU. You may also want a few colored pencils or water color pencils. You may want to include landscape and sea colors.

8.) Gel pens.  You will need a couple so you can write on top of dark surfaces.  (Sharpies paint markers, Molotow, etc.  are great for this and come in varying tips).  I usually like a light one- like white, gold or silver or pink, and a dark one like black, blue, purple, or brown. 

9.) Other drawing tools:  If you have some water color crayons, bring a few of those.  Imagine your expedition to think of what colors to bring or just bring your favorite colors and we‘ll make it all work!  Include some light or pastel colors and some dark.  China markers are great for drawing and doing rubbings.  My favorite are black, red, and white. But blue & yellow would also be good.  You can usually find these at fine art stores with a few colors available at Home Depot/Lowe's.

10.) Brushes: I bring a few brushes in my case.  The case is small & the book is small, so you don’t need a brush that’s too big. I generally have a thin tipped, and then a couple quarter inch thick brushes.  Pack a couple larger brushes, 1-2 inches, in your checked through baggage.

11.) Alternative attachments:  I highly recommend clear tape or any other kind of tape.  In a hurry, tape is the way to go. I also have a mini stapler and mini staples- you can get these mini kits at office supply store or target that has a mini stapler, a mini tape, a mini hole puncher- they are awesome! I also recommend masking tape in butter cream- home depot scotch brands will be stickier than art tape or archival, which is better for us. I also like a half inch black masking tape, a few washi tapes, and pack even more tape in my suitcase!

12.) Wet ones Wipes:  I tear out a bunch and then fold them into a baggie for my travel kit.  You can also purchase a small travel package.  These are great for spreading paint in a hurry, wiping up messes, cleaning glue off hands, cleaning up things like brushes, rubbing water color crayons, bleeding things- they are very handy. I also put a larger container in a sealable zip -loc baggie in check in luggage.

14.) Rubber Stamp letters:  probably seems frivolous, in light of our space issue, but I love mine, and I have a small peg letter set. I also rubber band my box of letters and anything else that could be problematic.  But that also means you have to bring stamp pads (which I would rubber band closed as well).  I go with staz on because they print on everything including plastic and glass, and dry immediately.  I love my black, red, and especially saddle brown for an antiquey look. While you’re at it, you may want to bring a few rubber stamps. I don't go anywhere without my pirate stamps, my compass rose, and a few postal stamps to add to mail art, but also to embellish my Visual Travelogue pages. I have a couple different stamps that say travel and travel journal, and a few visa stamps. Anything that says travel or is map themed will be fun.

15.) Crayons for rubbings:  they make big flat sticks specifically designed for doing rubbings but water color crayons or regular crayons will also work for this.  We did this a lot in Greece- it was great! I'll provide plenty of tracing paper for this and wax paper to insert between wet pages!

16.) Collage kit:   I usually have an extra plastic envelope with some collage items. Start collecting images and ephemera that appeals to you- but you could even make an envelope that fits in the back of your book or is an actual page:  wrapping paper, copies of photos, stickers, postage stamps, maps, images from magazines - stuff you’ve been saving on your bulletin board or refrigerator-anything you like - for whatever reason.  Then add as you go along- plane tickets, baggage claim stickers, labels… while working on my journal in India a man inquired, “a memory you are collect, yes?” Yes.

17.) Your favorites. Make sure you include these. My new favorites since Morocco are my stencils which are really fun to create backgrounds. I also keep them in a little plastic sleeve.  Tile patterns will be perfect, but bring whatever seems fun.


I know it seems like a lot, but watch the video- you will be surprised how I fit it all into my "Flight Attendant," or my carry on JMU!

Do not bring any oil paints or combustible materials. No spray fix or varnish - we won’t need that stuff anyway.

Getting to know you...

If you have time, it’s important to get to know your book by beginning to work in it.  If you don’t -no big deal- we’ll get started when you get there!  No pressure!

 Preparing Your Book

1.   Intention:  Take some private uninterrupted time.  Word association - Write down any thoughts, ideas, emotions that come to mind as you think about making this trip and what it means to you.  What does it mean to you to pack for a woman’s journey?  What do you want, what do you need, and how will you prepare?  What do you hope to return with?  Don’t worry about writing, poetry, spelling, grammar, or God forbid, making sense.  You’re just taking notes.  We’re only beginning.  We want to see what’s in there. (No, we will not read or share these)

2.   Leaving:  Open your book to two blank pages - anywhere - front, back, middle (I like to leave the end pages blank and finish them at the end w/a dedication).  Grab a few magazines - cut or tear images and glue them across these two pages to make 2 collages- just be spontaneous - don’t plan- this is not art:  one is about what you’d like to leave behind for good - the other is what you would like to replace it with.

3.   Somewhere in your book, create official walking papers and letters of reference for your intrepid inner traveler, the one brave enough to make such a journey.  What would such a document look like?  Who is important enough to write them?  Your mother, the Dalai Lama, God?  Do they need official seals, stamps, and are such documents notarized?  Is there a photo, like a passport?  Make these preparations in your book.  I love working on the airplane and while I wait at airports!

      See you very soon! Have a safe and enjoyable flight while creating in your Visual Travelogue! 

You are about to embark on a creative journey to the center of your being, to the center of an ancient civilization... if that’s not worth chronicling, what is?

I work back and forth adding notes directly to my artwork/imagery in my Visual Travelogue.  I talk to it out loud by writing it down as I go along.  I enter into its interior- and I don’t worry if it’s stupid, pretty, mean, empty, trite, or ugly.  And that is not to say I am not afraid.  I am.  And I should worry if I were not. I stand at the abyss of all my wanting looking down into it, crying and screaming and breaking down, scribbling, scraping, tearing,  and yelling and laughing and giggling until I am spent and crawl back out, satisfied, feeling the power and richness of my own self and this incredible journey that only I can describe.  This is not for anyone but me- and I am dedicated to myself this way.  Isn’t it time to be a disciple of your Higher Self? To see its workings and hear it’s murmurings across the expanse of your pages.  Page after Page, Book after Book.  That’s why my motto is “Saving Lives, one page at a time.”® Speak up, for yourself, and let no one else tell your story for you.

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All content copyright Me and Pete Productions, 2017

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