Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Product Review’ Category

Welcome Back

Do you have a Filofax? Like to design and make your own pages? In today’s post I will be reviewing; Rapesco Diary Punch 66-P its just what you need for many sizes of Filofax organizer.

Punch for Filofax organizers; Rapesco Punch

Punch for Filofax organizers; Rapesco Punch

Product Details

  • Manufacturer/Brand; Rapesco Diary Punch 66-P
  • Item number
  • RRP at time of writing:

Reason For Buying

I invested in a number of organizers over the years, in different sizes but I wanted to make my own pages so needed a punch. This one was great as it will let you punch different spaced holes for more than one size of binder.

Pros/Cons

Pros

  • Adjustable spacing for the 6 holes. They are set in two groups of three holes.
  • Respect the number of pages it wants to cut and it will last for years. Don’t force it to do more than its designed for.
  • Punches holes for Pocket, and Personal size Filofax organisers.
  • With a little practice will punch A5 Filofax pages too.

Cons

  • Haven’t got any

Build Quality

Excellent. Metal body and has lasted very well I’ve had mine over 14 years and although its had light use it still works fine.

Value for Money

Superb, the fact one punch will work for multiple sizes of page is brilliant.

Would I buy it Again?

Yes

Summing up

This punch has done everything asked of it, you can punch several 80gsm weight papers at a time and I’ve also punched 220gsm card with it. It happily punches holes for Pocket sized Filofaxes and by widening the gap between the sets of three holes you can also punch for Personal size pages.

Setting for Pocket Size Filofax page punching

Rapesco Punch 66-P; set for Pocket size Filofax page punching

Rapesco Punch 66-P; set for Pocket size Filofax page punching

Setting for Personal size Filofax Pages

Rapesco Punch 66-P; set for Personal size Filofax page punching

Rapesco Punch 66-P; set for Personal size Filofax page punching

With a little experimentation you can also use if for A5 Filofax pages, by tracing though your pre punched page and making a card template. You need to punch three holes at a time only for the A5 then turn you page over to do the other three but its possible, making it even more versatile. Because its punching 6 holes you could NOT use it for MINI size Filofax as they have only 5 holes.

Links

If you would like to see a video demonstration of this product for the A5 page leave me a comment and I’ll see what I can do. Any questions just leave me a comment.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

Read Full Post »

Welcome Back In today’s post I will be reviewing;

Staedtler Triplus Pens

Staedtler Triplus Pens

Product Details

  • Manufacturer/Brand; Staedtler/ Triplus
  • Item number: 323 SB20
  • RRP at time of writing: £24.50 but cheaper on Amazon ;)

Reason For Buying

I wanted some colours to use with Doodling and struggling with my dexterity I wondered if the triangle-shaped barrels of these pens would help.

Pros/Cons

Pros

  • Good selection of colours
  • Triangle shaped barrel comfortable in the hand
  • The caps fit very well but are easy to remove
  • The plastic case is robust and folds back on itself to act as a stand as you use the pens
  • Case stays closed for travelling with your pens
  • 1.0 mm fibre tip pens, work well on cartridge paper and cover well

Cons

  • The option of more colours would have been nice, but the range is still good for general doodle style of art

Build Quality

Excellent! The nibs are robust and seem to last well. The firm fitting caps mean if you travel with these pens there is much less risk of the caps dropping off. The case being able to be used as a stand is a nice feature and like the lids is a secure closure but still easy to open.

Value for Money

TBH I would be a bit tight and not want to pay £25 but these were a bargain at just over £11 on Amazon and at that price I am very happy. They are quality and are worth their higher price, I’m just on a tight budget at the moment.

Would I buy it Again?

Yes, they have a finer nibbed version of these pens and I’m looking to get a set of those for working in smaller areas and for lettering.

Summing up

Superb pens, love them a lot. Great for bold lettering or doodling. Bear in mind they are water based so not ideal for mixed media if you plan to use wet media over the top but that a niggle. Great pens, try them see if you love them too.

Links

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon Billie :)

Read Full Post »

Welcome Back

In today’s post I will be reviewing; Gelli Arts; Gel Printing Plate

6x6" Gelli Plate by Gelli Arts

6×6″ Gelli Plate by Gelli Arts

Product Details

  • Manufacturer/Brand; Gelli Arts
  • Item number:
  • RRP at time of writing: £20 for 6 x 6″ plate

Reason For Buying

I had been on the fence about this product since I first saw it. I loved the art being made with it, I just had some concerns so I waited to see how people got on with it. Then the temptation got too much and I HAD to have one.

Pros/Cons

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Versatile, each piece of art is unique so you don’t get board.
  • Easy to clean
  • Easy to store
  • Doesn’t smell
  • The 6×6 is an affordable price to try it out.
  • Available in a range of sizes to suit your pocket or your project.
  • As of 2014 also available in a round plate

Cons

  • A downside is that I would like the larger plates to give options of making book covers, but they get expensive in the larger sizes.

Not a real con, just a warning that it is addictive and you will want to collect vast numbers of stencils

Build Quality

Excellent, neither greasy nor slippery, it’s a joy to use and the fact it has resealable packaging to store it in, is superb. Treat it nicely as per instruction on the packing and its said to last years. At the time of writing they have been manufactured for two years and they have had no reports yet of failures. (I asked this question directly of the makers).

The makers have an excellent video tutorial on how to use/clean the product and were very helpful when I contacted them for advice.

Value for Money

For the versatility, and ease of use excellent.

Would I buy it Again?

Totally. I would replace my 6 x 6″ plate if it expired, and would love a larger plate for using with larger prints to turn into book covers.

Summing up

As I suspected this plate is like Marmite, you either love it or hate it. If you love mixed media art and have seen the prints created using these plates, then you are likely to love this plate. My advice is get a 6 x 6″ one if you work A6, or ATC sort of sizes or just to try out the concept to see if you like it. If you are still on the fence, how about taking a class in your local craft shop, so you can get some hands on experience to see if you like it.

One thing though, if the class plate has a smell, it is likely to be from their paints, not the plate! Certainly in the UK the plates are sometimes bundled with Daler Rowney’s System 3 Acrylic paint. I found System 3 smell overpowering to the extent it gave me a headache. It was also the reason I didn’t re-home a used plate from Ebay.

I took a leap of faith because I loved the art being made with these plates and I wasn’t disappointed, LOVE my Gelli plate and wouldn’t be without it now. Just try it, it’s so much fun!

Links

To find out more product details, and size options, please visit the Gelli Arts website below.

Gelli Arts Website

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

If you were wondering what my concerns were, prior to purchasing, I’ll be writing a separate post relating to that.

Read Full Post »

Welcome Back

In today’s post I will be reviewing;

Faber-Castell Polychromos Pencils

Faber-Castell Polychromos Pencils

Product Details

  • Manufacturer/Brand; Faber-Castell/ Polychromos
  • Item number: FC110012
  • RRP at time of writing: £20.75 for set of 12

Reason For Buying

The one’s in the picture were a gift from my friend but I have since bought the larger 36 pencil set. I wanted to use these for looser drawings like doodles and perhaps some colouring images

Pros/Cons

Pros

  • Comfortable diameter in the hand
  • Smooth feel of colour, feels a bit like a wax crayon as colour goes down

Cons

  • High wax content means they can be tricky to blend
  • Results vary considerably from surface to surface

Build Quality

Faber-castell have always been excellent quality and these pencils are no exception. The tins are well designed and hold closed well, yet are still easy to open.

Value for Money

Good, these pencils aren’t cheap but they are pigment rich and fine art quality so worth the investment

Would I buy it Again?

After getting used to the 12 set, I went for the 36 set to increase the choice of colours. I am considering adding a few individual pencils for certain colours but I’m not looking to invest in the 72 set.

Summing up

Faber-Castell Polychromos Pencils; open tin of 12

Faber-Castell Polychromos Pencils

These pencils are an acquired taste, they are smooth like crayons, but the high wax content have made them tricky to get used to. If you are interested in them but not sure weather they will be for you, I’d highly recommend buying few individual pencils and try them on the surfaces you most use to see if they work well for you.

Have a look around the web, there are a lot of talented artists that achieve fantastic results with these pencils so I feel it is my lack of skill rather than any fault of the product that I found them a bit of a struggle to use. My dexterity let me down with these as I think the trick to them is layering and burnishing, which I couldn’t manage.

Links

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

Read Full Post »

Welcome Back

In today’s post I will be reviewing; Marble Art; Full kit.

Marbling 4 Fun; Marbling kit

Marbling 4 Fun; Marbling kit

Product Details

  • Manufacturer/Brand; Marbling 4 Fun/ Marble Art Kit
  • RRP at time of writing: £35

Reason For Buying

I’ve always wanted to try marbling on paper but in the past it looked so complicated and kits were expensive. I saw this kit demonstrated on Create and Craft, but on the makers own site they also had marbling combs, so I bought from them as the pattern I most wanted to create would need a comb.

Contents

  • Marbling paints: White, Yellow, Blue, Red and Black. 50gms of each
  • Alum crystals. 30grms
  • Floater Powder 40 gms
  • 8 Pipettes
  • Instruction sheet
  • A6 box for storage and to marble in.

Pros/Cons

Pros

  • Fun
  • Simple to do
  • Colours are mixable so you can mix any colours you like from the core kit
  • Neither the paints nor the floater mix smell, I am sensitive to highly fragranced products but neither gave me any issues.
  • Storage box the kit comes in becomes the tray you marble in
  • Bright colours from first prints
  • Later prints become lighter as there is less paint on the floater, you get beautiful faded pastel shades with later prints.

Cons

  • Needs a bit of prep for the area you want to marble in as papers take a good while to dry off
  • Best done in a room with a hard floor in case of spills
  • In a domestic situation, you would probably want to keep cats/dogs/ younger kids out of the room where you do this or where papers are drying, or they might walk on or or lick the gooey papers.

Build Quality

Excellent, does what it says on the tin. I like the fact that the tray that you marble in is also a storage box for the kit, which when you are short of space is helpful. The lids of the paints are easy to remove but also very secure.

Value for Money

Excellent. Its an affordable price for trying a new hobby.

Extras you will need

Its always advisable to keep craft and food items separate, so bear in mind you will also need the following items to get started, on top of the main kit.

  • Dedicated bowl (that will accept near boiling water), to mix the floater powder in.
  • Whisk also for mixing the floater powder.
  • Bottle of deionized water, the best prints are created with soft water, even bottled waters are hard so use deionized water for the best results (see Links)
  • A screw top bottle to store your mixed floater water. Once made up, it will last up to 3 months if stored in the fridge.
  • Air tight pots for your mixed paint, such as the little pots that used to contain 35mm film for cameras. (available from the company if you haven’t got any horded away)
  • Protect your working area with plastic, such as cut open bin liners ;)
  • Some extra pipettes if you want to mix loads of colours.

You will also use LOADS of kitchen paper to clean the tray between prints and a bucket to put the wet waste paper into is essential.

Optional Extras

  • Combs to create patterns in the paint, you can use paper clips etc but the company does sell a small comb.
  • Get the Violet paint! Its not in the main kit but it is beautiful, so if you budget will let you get it.
  • If you don’t want the paint to stain your fingers you can wear protective gloves
Marbling 4 Fun; Marbling kit plus Violet paint and a comb to help create patterns

Marbling 4 Fun; Marbling kit plus Violet paint and a comb to help create patterns

Would I buy it Again?

Yes, because I love the effects.

Summing up

If you have always wanted to marble but been put off by a lot of expensive kit, this is a great place to start. The finished results are superb from bright vivid colours for your first print out to pastels if you take later prints from the same paints on the tray.

Best to do this in a kitchen or on an area with a hard floor in case of spills and keep a plastic bucket next to you for the kitchen paper you use to clean off the tray with. I did this in the studio and cut open bin bags to cover the table for a wide area, had some disposable gloves so I didn’t colour my hands too. I put the marbling box on a tray and put layers of butchers paper for the prints to dry on.

After a marbling session

After a marbling session

Stick your mixed paint pots down! I thought I didn’t need to and when I stood the pipette in it, gravity tipped it over! I used a curl of masking tape and it held the camera pots to the side of the box nicely.

I stuck my pots to the tray with masking tape.

I stuck my pots to the tray with masking tape.

My papers took overnight to dry in an unheated outside studio. The papers will be covered in a layer of floater mix which feel a bit like light hair gel, so it does get messy but its lots of fun. The results were much better than I expected and by storing the floater mix in the fridge it can last up to 3 months after you first mix it. So you get a lot of prints from each batch of floater.

Messy but marvellous, does what it says on the tin! Its a lot of fun and the marbling effects are addictive and beautiful.

Links

If you would like to try this kit for yourself, check out the links below. Marble Arts do ship internationally too.

Marbling 4 Fun website

Full Marbling Kit

Deionized water

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

Read Full Post »

Welcome Back

In today’s post I will be reviewing; Stabilo Point 88 pens.

Stabilo Point 88 Pens

Stabilo Point 88 Pens

Product Details

  • Manufacturer/Brand; Stabilo
  • Item number: 8825-1
  • RRP at time of writing: RRP £30.60 but £16 on Amazon

Reason For Buying

Having decided to give doodling a go, I wanted a set of quality fine nibbed colored pens, these looked a good set of colours to allow

Pros/Cons

Pros

  • Excellent fine nib 0.4 mm (see graphic on case)
  • Smooth to draw or write with
  • Good selection of colours, suitable for a range of subjects
  • Case is lightweight but plastic so will last a while if you like your pens lined up by colour
  • These pens are water-soluble so if you want to bleed out the colour for projects you can
  • Pens are also available singly from Art supply stores if you wish to replace colours over time

Cons

  • The only colour ID is on the pen cap and base, not the barrel of the pen. So you’ll want to clip caps to base while in use or risk getting colours in a muddle
  • With my dexterity issues I found the narrow barrels and caps a little awkward to get hold of. Not a problem if you hands work tho ;)
  • Given the high rrp, the case quality is a bit of a let down. It works well but looks like it would rip quite easily, not that sturdy

Build Quality

The pen itself is excellent, the material of the nib gives a smooth writing or drawing surface on different papers/card. The caps fit well, the only quality issue is the case they come in. Not a deal breaker if you are intending to store them in other containers.

Value for Money

TBH I’m not sure I would have paid full rrp, but I got mine from Amazon for around £13 delivered and for that I am very satisfied. They are excellent and if you like to use fine liners in your art, these are excellent quality.

Would I buy it Again?

Yes

Summing up

I’ve used these pens on cheap paper as well as good quality cartridge paper, they perform well and give excellent results. The colour range is good and the glide of the nib on the paper is a joy.

Personally, I would have liked a coloured barrel to help ID the colours and due to difficulties with fine motor skills, I struggle with the small caps and fine barrels. The barrels are approximately the same diameter as Bic biros for reference.

Be aware of the water-soluble nature of these pens when choosing a project to use them on. So if you are using them with mixed media and use anything waterbased over the top, bear in mind the colours will reactivate and move. If you want a water colour look from the pens, scribble some colour onto an acrylic block or non porous surface and use a waterbrush to pick up the colour. This does make for a versatile pen that will have many uses. Single pens and smaller sets are available if you want to try them out before investing in a bigger set.

The other use for these pens, they are great for pattern drafting (dressmaking) due to their fine line. Careful of where you store your patterns though due to the water-soluble ink!

These pens have become a favorite for me for doodle art. Do try them out, the colours and ink flow are a joy.

Links

Here are some places where you can find Stablio pens. They are also available in larger sets with a thicker nib known as Stabilo 68. If you want something more compact to take out and about there were also some pocket-size pens in Staples.

Whats your favorite pen for doodling? Would love to see projects you have created with these pens, do leave me a comment with your thoughts.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

Read Full Post »

Welcome Back

In today’s post I will be reviewing; Faber-Castell; 4 Pitt artist Pens

Faber Castell PITT Artist Pen

Faber Castell PITT Artist Pen

Product Details

  • Manufacturer/Brand; Faber-Castell PITT Artist Pen
  • Item number: 167100
  • RRP at time of writing: £9.49

Contents

The four pen set contains: S, F, M, B which I later found out equates too;

Faber Castell PITT Artist Pen

Faber Castell PITT Artist Pen. XS not in the set, purchased separately.

Reason For Buying

Originally I bought these some years ago for ink sketching, but I haven’t got round to using them much for that yet. Instead I’ve used them for doodling.

Pros/Cons

Pros

  • Comfortable in the hand
  • Lightweight
  • Very black ink
  • Good on cartridge paper
  • Excellent range of nib sizes
  • Pens are available individually to replace them as needed.

Cons

  • Some issues with a few sizes, see Build Quality

Build Quality

The caps fit well, the pen is comfortable in the hand but I have found the nibs are a bit scratchy in the XS and S size. The M tip has had a tendency to not cover on the first stroke, so I wasn’t pleased with that for doodling. That may not be an issue for sketching where I may want a softer line. Depends on what you are wanting to use these for.

Value for Money

Good, F/C products are well made and well worth the investment. I’m not going to write off these pens, as the niggles I have may reduce with use. The nibs may well wear in and work better. I am comparing them to very old pens of a similar kind.

Would I buy it Again?

Yes

Summing up

I’ve enjoyed using these pens but they haven’t performed as well as some of the others that I’ve had in the past. I also have their Artline drawing system pens which I found worked slightly better, that said as I mentioned earlier I am comparing them to very old pens and perhaps the old ones were like this when new.  A fantastic quality of ink, so well worth trying. No problems with the brush tip and the fact the ink is a true black black and doesn’t reactivate with water makes them very useful for sketching and doodling especially if you want to add paint or other ink over the top.

The more hit n miss effect on the thicker nibs might work better for sketching it was just I wanted a reliable thick line for the doodling style I was working on at the time of writing this review. I’ll add a note at the end of the review when I’ve tried them for sketching to report on how well they work for that.

Links

Here’s where you can find these pens online.

  • Set of 4 Faber-Castel pens on Amazon UK also available as a set of 6 which include the XS and a chisel tip
  • Artline Drawing System pens on Amazon UK This set contains 0.1, 0.3, 0.5 and 0.7 which are my perfect sizes for sketching and doodling.
  • Edding 1800 Profipen another favorite and worth comparing with these pens. Smaller choice of nibs at 0.1,0.3, 0.5 but these would be most used for sketching and doodling.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 256 other followers