Monday, August 29, 2011

New (to Some) Tools To Check Out

A couple of weekends ago, hubby and I headed up to Ocala where they have two stores that Tampa does not—a Gander Mountain and a Hobby Lobby! Something for everyone! It turned out to be a nice day away as Ocala is horse country with lots of rolling hills and gorgeous oak trees. We managed to get "lost" once and didn't even bother to turn around because we were enjoying the views so much.

Anyway, while wandering the aisles of Hobby Lobby, I stumbled across a Sharpie® Liquid Pencil. Hmmm, I thought. I gotta give this a whirl. I mean liquid pencil—would it smear like regular pencil? Would this eliminate the problem of broken leads let alone having a sharpener? I could see potential here so I chucked one into my basket.

A few aisles over, I stumbled across the Chatterbox Journaling Genie which is a fancy name for a stencil. A stencil used to draw lines quickly on the journal page so that your text will be straight! These have apparently been around for the last 10 years, but I just found out about them.

I liked the idea of a quick way to get lines on the page without having to get a ruler and measure each line, especially for when I'm traveling. What I wasn't liking was the full page of stencils. So, I did a little surgery.
I even rounded some of the corners so they wouldn't scratch me and I could use the shape of the stencil as a  template to draw boxes on my journal page. The last thing I did was to glue an envelope in the back of my sketchbook so I could stow the templates and take them out as needed.
As for the Sharpie Liquid Pencil? Don't bother! It looks and writes more like a pen than a pencil. It leaves an indention in the paper with even the lightest of touches and it requires an even amount of pressure to get the liquid "lead" to come out.
The stuffed puppy on the right is a baby toy and he barks when you squeeze his tummy. For some reason, he reminds me of my sweet cinnamon girl, Gatlin, that I lost to cancer a few years ago. You can see the stenciled lines in action over on the left with a Copic® gray marker.

The one thing I will say for the liquid pencil was that I was able to erase most of the lead after the watercolor was complete. I tried some more tests with it on other types of paper and different paints, but did not have similar results. Oh well! You don't know if you don't try!!

16 comments:

  1. Nice stencils. I have never seen them before either. Just mentioning the Hobby Lobby tour makes me want to go cruising the aisles.

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  2. I like the stencils, too--perfect to tote along when you want to write in your sketchbook. Thanks for trying new tools and sharing with us!

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  3. Oh, I love to go to Hobby Lobby, it's a shame you don't have one in your town. Love your sketch and your handy pocket for your stencils! Thanks for stopping by my site, good to be checking in on everyone again.

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  4. ...these look interesting--thanks for the tip! (...and I love that little green puppy...so sweet!)

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  5. I totally agree with you about the Sharpie liquid pencil--what a disappointment! But I really like the new Pilot Flexion erasable pen--dark smooth flow and though I seldom erase, the line can be removed easily. I found them at Staples.

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  6. Be careful, the packaging says it will not erase after 24 hours. I, too, was disappointed in this pencil. But, it is always fun to try new things!

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  7. I can always count on you to tell me how things work, 'cause you're always experimenting and trying new items, Laure. Thanks for the tips. Lovely, sweet painting,too!

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  8. Hmm, I was just complaining about my crooked writing lines yesterday! I guess I just need a stencil. I like how you cut it up making it much more usable. I haven't heard many people like the liquid pencils; you just reconfirmed it. Glad you got to have a fun day shopping!

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  9. ..great thought to trim the stencil to suit and pocket it too for your travels. Lovely puppy page; sorry to hear of one you lost to cancer.

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  10. Love that stencil. Thanks Laure!!

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  11. I'm not sure why, Lisa, but I feel the same way about HL!

    You're welcome, KJ!

    Theresa, it seems HL has quite a fan base! I think it's probably a GOOD thing I don't have a HL nearby!

    Thanks, Kelly!

    Glad to know I'm not alone in my thoughts on the pencil, Nita, and now you've given me a new toy to go look for! Yay!

    Elizabeth, I had such high hopes for that goofy pencil! Darn it!

    Thanks, Sue!

    Timaree, I think you'll like those stencils.

    Normally, I don't care if my text is straight, Carole, but every once in a while, I can see these coming in handy. Gatlin was a love and I do so miss her. Thanks for your kind comments.

    Diane, I think you'll really get a lot of use out of it!

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  12. I actually have one of those stencils, but I had forgotten all about it. Thanks for the reminder - I was able to find it (a small miracle in itself) and I think I'll cut it up like you did. Great idea! And what a cute green puppy!

    I have a HL in my town, and it's ok, but you're really not missing much. It has a little bit of everything, but not a lot of anything. I'd much rather have a few independent stores that were really good in their field - you know, a good art store, a good quilt store (which we're lucky enough to have), a good scrapbook store, etc.

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  13. I haven't seen that stencil before, but I surely will look for it now!! We are fortunate to have a Hobby Lobby and a Michael's; it is fun to go and "troll" for ideas. I love the spread, Laure, with your little stuffed puppy! He's priceless!

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  14. Darn! We don't have a Hobby Lobby. Just Michaels. I'll have to see if they have that great stencil!

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  15. Great idea!! I'll have to go look for one.

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  16. Ok, I have never seen those stencils before either so whatever club for those of us who missed them when they hit the scene we all belong to! :D Now I will have to be on a quest for them, and aren't you a clever girl putting the envelope in the back of your journal, oh and the surgery was quite a success, I will do the same, as soon as I find the stencils that is!
    Hugs and thanks for sharing,
    Beth P

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