I am finally back with another post after a mini hiatus in April. It has been one crazy, whirlwind month, but I am back today with a new post! Today, I am going to share my supply haul I have been collecting over the month. All of the items I purchased this month were new to me so I haven’t been able to use them as much as I have wanted. I also bought them all of them from various stores, all online; I’ll put links to where I got all of my items if you’re interested in purchasing them too! Be sure to check back here to see how I’ve put my new supplies to use!
Wild Rose Studio Stamps
Lately, I have been obsessed with stamps from Wild Rose Studio. I’ll admit, I went a little overboard and bought 28 of their stamps- probably way too many, but I just couldn’t pass them up! Their stamps are so incredibly adorable, in my opinion and I absolutely LOVE the Bella the Elephant stamps. There is just too many; wasn’t able to take photos of everything!
All of my stamps were purchased from three stores, online: Joann, Simon Says Stamp, and Frantic Stamper. Majority of them were purchased through Joann’s because they had the largest selection and they were on sale-can’t beat that! Simon Says Stamps also carries Wild Rose Studio Stamps. However, a lot of the ones I wanted were out of stock. Luckily, you can subscribe to them and they’ll let you know when their items are back in stock (and it might be awhile). Then there’s Frantic Stamper. I stumbled on their page while hunting down some of the stamps that I really wanted and were out of stock at Joann and Simon Says Stamp. Let me tell you, this place was a little gem and am so glad I found them! They carried some images that the other two stores didn’t have like the teddy bears and were reasonably priced as well. Unfortunately, I just checked their website and some of the stamps I got for them are now out of stock. Not sure if they plan to restock some of them, but it couldn’t hurt to periodically check, right?!
I’ve only tested out a couple of the stamps so far. I stamped them with archival ink onto watercolor and then used my Mission Gold Watercolor set and Derwent Inktense Pencils to fill. I’m pretty happy with how these initials ones came out and definitely plan to play around more with the colors! Lastly, I want to note that it was my first time buying from both Simon Says Stamp and Frantic Stamper; I’m happy with both my purchases from them and will consider using them again in the future.
Staedtler Mars Lumograph Pencils
Next up, I finally decided to invest in a set of pencils from Staedtler. I have used their mechanical pencils in the past and have really enjoyed them, they are always crafted so beautifully! Since I was in the market for some new pencils and didn’t know too much about pencils, I went with a brand that I trusted. This set comes with 12 pencils with varying graphite hardness ranging from 6B to 4H.
Just some quick info about pencil leads, the letters H and B are used to indicate the hardness of the lead core. A pencil with an H indicates that its lead it harder; the harder the lead, the lighter it will show up (e.g. 4H pencil will have a harder graphite than 2H). Pencils with a B means that the lead core is softer, and thus will show up darker on paper. Fun fact – a #2 pencil is has an HB hardness, right in the middle!
So does all of this matter? Not really, unless you’re sketching. Then you might care a little more about the pencils you’re using because it does come in handy when you’re shading. But for the average user, it won’t really matter too much. I mainly use these pencils for some light sketch, but you know me, I always like to have options.
Pencil Sharpener and Erasers
A new set of pencils means having to purchase pencil sharpeners and erasers! Let me just say upfront that really, any sharpener and eraser will do and will most likely get the job you need done. With that said, if you’re really interested in maximizing the function of a sharpener and eraser and willing to splurge just a bit, check out my recommendations below!
I use to think all sharpeners and erasers were created equally – not true! Investing in a good sharpener and eraser can make a big difference. I wasn’t a believer until I read 2 blog posts from JetPens on SHARPENERS and ERASERS. If you’ve been following my blog, you know I am a huge fan and loyal customer to JetPens (and for the record, I am not paid in any way for this, purely my own opinion). I won’t go into details here; if you’re really intrigued, I suggest you head over to JetPens to get the full detailed scoop.
After careful consideration, I decided to go with the T’Gaal Multi-Sharpener. This sharpener has 5 adjustable settings to sharpen the angle length of the pencil. As it was outlined in the JetPens blog, it matters the sharpening angle – that will affect how sturdy your lead is and whether it is prone to breaking. Having a smaller angle means you’ll probably have to sharpen more often, but the lead is sturdier. JetPens has many Many MANY sharpeners to choose from with different features. Personally, I like the T’Gaal because I wanted to option to choose and customize the angle lengths of my pencils.
Secondly, investing in a good eraser is essential! Especially if you like to sketch and outline your designs. The last thing you want is for your pencil markings to smear or lines are not fully gone. Again, I will point you over to the JetPens Eraser post to get more information. For me, I purchased a 3 different erasers: Uni Boxy Eraser, Tombow Mono Zero Precision, Campus 2B Eraser. These three are all used for very different purposes.
The Uni Boxy Eraser is what I use on a more everyday basis-mostly if I’m just regular mechanical pencils or normal writing. Not that bad and it gets the job done. The Tombow Mono Zero Precision Eraser is used when I’m working on very detailed things or I need to erase in a small space. Given the diameter of this, it’s great for getting in those tiny areas without having to erase everything. Finally the Campus 2B Eraser. I bought this primarily because of my Staedtler Pencil set. With the pencil set going all the way up to 6B, I wanted to get a more ‘heavy duty’ eraser that can tackle those darker lines. Even though the eraser is advertise as erasing up to 2B, I have used it with my 5B pencil and it still erased without leaving any streaks or marks!
If you’re in the market for sharpeners and erasers, I hope I have convinced you to check out other options!
Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils
Paints, markers, inks, pencils, sharpeners and erasers, and now finally adding colored pencils to my collection. In April, I also went ahead and got my hands on the 72 Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils set! This is my first set and my first time using Prismacolor. I mainly got this set for my adult coloring books. I know, it sounds a bit ridiculous…but I was previously using markers and I just wasn’t as happy with the results and wanted a medium that can be more blendable.
Along with this set, I also added the Blending Pencil. It’s been a very long time since I’ve used colored pencils so I’m still getting use to these. They are definitely not like your Crayola ones from back in grades school. These pencils have a very soft core that is supposed to make blending easier. So far, I have found that to be mostly true. I think I need to get the hang of them and be more comfortable using them to really take full advantage.
Some of the reviews I was reading online noted that because of the soft core, the lead was breaking. I haven’t found that to be the case for me. I’ve been using my T’Gaal Multi-Sharpener and have been using the smallest (1) sharpening setting. No breaking on my end…I think if you’re using the 1 or 2 setting on the T’Gaal, you should be fine!
Last items on my haul for the month of April were some new Watercolor Journals. I picked up two different kinds: Moleskine Journal and Visual Journal by Strathmore.
The Moleskine Journal I purchased was the 5 x 8.25 watercolor album. It comes with 72 (front and back) 135lb cold pressed watercolor paper. What I like most about this journal is the minimal design. It has a beautiful black hardcover with an elastic band to keep the journal closed. Like all Moleskine notebooks, the pages are stitched together (okay, I have a soft spot for beautifully created things, can you blame me?!). A great thing about the journal is that each page lays flat when it’s opened. That way you can paint without worrying about other pages not staying flat. Biggest down side to this journal is the price. On Amazon, this book goes for about $17 so I only picked up 1 for now. Usually I like to get a few to have on hand, but since I’ve never tried their watercolor journal, I didn’t want to invest too much into something I might not like.
As for the quality of the paper, I think it gets the job done for my needs. I just started with watercoloring, so I feel very underqualified to state whether this journal might work for you. I’m sure you can Google and find someone much more experienced with watercolor paper to give insight on this journal.
On the other hand, the Visual Journal by Strathmore (size 5×8.25) is much more affordable at about $6 a piece. This journal comes with 44 pages (22 sheets) on 140lb cold press paper. Unlike the Moleskine, where the pages are stitched, this journal is spiral bound. Personally, I don’t mind the spiral bound and in some cases, it comes in handy!
For the quality of paper, I think it holds water better than the Moleskine. However, when I practice my watercolor brush lettering, it just doesn’t hold or come out the same as it does on the Moleskine. I have the artist grade watercolor paper from Strathmore and never encountered that problem as well. Not quite sure what I need to do to remedy the issue, but I think I mostly need to practice more.
Well, that concludes my art haul for April. April was sure a busy and hectic month that just flew by and I definitely invested a bit more than I anticipated in my supplies. Overall, I’m happy with everything and I can’t wait to try and experiment more!
Be sure to always check back here! I have a few projects I’ve been working on and excited to share them!!