I carry a sketchbook and drawing materals with me nearly everywhere I go. You just never know when inspiration will hit or if there will be time to kill that could be spent getting ideas down on paper. I never used to think a sketchbook was essential; even being in an art program didn't convince me. It wasn't until I realized that I had more ideas than time that I started getting them down. Some things are sketches and some are just written. In addition to a regular sketchbook, I've been taking with me a watercolor book and tools.
I found most of these items at Hobby Lobby. Yes, they can be a bit pricey, but I'm a firm believer in buying quality art materials. I do have other travel watercolor kits, but this one is my favorite because of the water brush.
The current project for my ceramics class is to create a hybrid animal that doesn't already exist. Some examples of existing ones are a centaur, minotaur, jackalope, and so on. My creation is a cross between a hippo and a cheetah. In addition to the handbuilt clay sculpture, we also have to create a story of how this animal came to be and what it does. That will be interesting to hear from everyone. I've already decided to name my animal the cheeto and that he is the second fastest land animal, after the cheetah, of course.