The Art Cocoon is something I've wanted for a long time. I'd gotten tired of toting around a bulky wet canvas carrier and wanted a carrier I could stuff in my backpack along with my pochade box. The smaller Art Cocoon, the "I," fits the bill. It's small enough so I can stuff a couple into my backpack. It takes standard-size panels anywhere from 4x6 to 8x10, and it is designed to fit into the lid of my 9x12 Guerrilla Painter box. (The Art Cocoon II goes from 8x10 to 11x14.) It's a bit taller than the lid of the box, so when I'm done, I take out the Art Cocoon, secure its cover with the rubber band, and stuff it back into my pack. Of course, you can use it on any other type of easel, too.
The Art Cocoon has some other neat features. You can stack them. You can use the enclosed stand to display your work in a workshop or painting event. Plus, each carrier can be configured for a variety of sizes. Visit the website www.myartcocoon.com for more pictures and pricing.
I've also wanted an umbrella that lives up to its hype. I've gone through a dozen different umbrellas. Some of them have a Mary Poppins effect, others shred, fall over all the time or otherwise self-destruct. The Best Brella doesn't do any of this. It's got a clamp designed to last. It fits on both my tripod and French easel and rotates in any direction. It has an extension pole to get it up high - an important feature for me, since I'm over 6' tall. The umbrella itself has vents to minimize wind problems. It's also black on the inside, which cuts down on glare, and silver on the outside, which cuts down on heat. The Best Brella is a well-built unit. Visit the website www.bestbrella.com for more.