Showing posts sorted by relevance for query pens pencils. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query pens pencils. Sort by date Show all posts

Monday, July 3, 2017

Reviewing Colorful Pens, Pencils, and Coloring Books

Traveling doodles
I recently spent several days in a row attending presentations. Oh how the time drags when I sit for hours on end. Fortunately, I had several of my InkJoy pens with me, which made note-taking and doodling more interesting. However, I regretted not bringing along some coloring pages or one of my journals with me. I doodled so much on the training handouts that my notes ended up being illegible. With so many different coloring items available, it was an oversight on my part to not take sufficient adult "fidgets" with me. An oversight that won't happen again. I am writing this as both a reminder for myself and a review of some of the best adult coloring and journaling items available.


Adult Coloring Books


Bev shared with us the gift her husband gave her for Valentine's Day - Midnight Garden Coloring Book. Prior to her review of this adult coloring book, I hadn't been aware that coloring books with black backgrounds existed. What a great idea! the black backgrounds result in vibrant finished pages.

Adult coloring books are so much in demand that they are now offered in "travel" or "on-the-go" sizes. These small coloring books are the perfect size for me. They fit in my work bag so I will be able to take them with me everywhere I go. The spiral-bound books are the best for laying the books flat and coloring ease.


on-the-go coloring books with travel pouch included

Colorful Pens


I mentioned my InkJoy pens. I find those ball point pens to be the best for doodling, note-taking, and journaling.  The colors are vibrant, the ink doesn't blob, and InkJoy pens are readily available in local stores and online. I really like being able to journal or take notes in a wide range of colors. one day I may be in a "blue" mood and another day I may want to write in pink, or orange, purple, or brown.

While my InkJoy pens are perfect for doodling, journaling, and taking colorful notes gel pens are better for coloring pages. This highly rated set of premium gel pens include metallic, glitter, and neon colors.


premium gel pens set with case and refills 



Colorful Pencils


I tend toward colored ink and fine-tipped colored markers rather than colored pencils. But I know many people who prefer a quality colored pencil. How fortunate we are that our own Heather has created high quality colored pencils and offers them for sale to the public! If you create with colored pencils you must check out her pencils at Aurora Art Supplies.



Related Link - Beautiful Blank Journals


It never, ever fails... when I'm sitting somewhere and am trying to be attentive, my mind wanders. I come up with the best blog ideas or I remember the forgotten grocery list items. When I don't have a journal available, I write these random thoughts down on scraps of paper, only to loose that scrap of paper. 

I realize that currently, most people write notes and reminders on their phone. I have occasionally sent myself a text message as a reminder. However, I still tend to do better with written reminders to myself. Or some of my thoughts and reminders are too long for a text message to myself. If I put my thoughts or lists in a journal, I can find them later when I need them.

Blank journals come in many shapes, sizes, and attractive designs. They also come in lined and unlined options. I find that I rely on blank journals for writing and remembering the old fashioned way.


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.


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Monday, November 7, 2016

Reviewing InkJoy Pens - Popular and Colorful Pens

The factors that make me loyal to certain brands of pens are: low-cost, high quality, and reliability. I'm not asking for much, am  I? I don't think I am and I've found that with the InkJoy retractable, ballpoint pens, all of those needs are met. Recently, I ran out of my own personal stash of pens at work the other day and I realized I should recommend these pens to others. I should spread the joy. InkJoy pens are my first choice of pens for work and personal writing. 


Highly Recommended - InkJoy Ballpoint Pens by Paper Mate 


There are many reasons I love these pens enough to buy my own for work, rather than use the free pens that work provides.  

Reliability - These pens work every single time I pick one up.  There's nothing worse than being in a meeting, or trying to write down a phone number when someone is speaking quickly, and have the pen not work at all, or work only after your hurridley scribble in order to get the ink flow moving again. Annoying!  

No Ink Blobs - I really, really, REALLY hate running my hand through an ink blob on the paper. Smeary ink and blobs are so frustrating.  My InkJoy pens have never left a blob.


InkJoy colors 20 count
Inexpensive - Each time I purchase a pack of InkJoy pens, I compare with the less expensive "stick" pens.  I'm a penny-pincher so I try to remember to compare costs.  The InkJoy pens are usually slightly more expensive than the stick pens. But not by much. The cost tends to even out as I throw away a few of the stick pens that blob or do not work well. Also, my purchase of InkJoy pens is more costly than the free pens the agency supplies to employees. But I'd rather pay a few dollars for the reliability.

Color choices - At work I am limited to black ink.  When I pay bills, I often rebel and use blue ink. But, when I write journal entries, notes in my day planner, and other personal items, I go for the InkJoy color pens.  It is so much fun to use the variety of colors.


Ballpoint or gel pens - I prefer the retractable, medium ballpoint pens. However, InkJoy also makes a gel pen variety that is very popular. I cannot keep the InkJoy gel pens in my office.


InkJoy black ballpoint


Many Uses for InkJoy Color Pens (ballpoint or gel pens)

  • addressing holiday or special occasion envelopes
  • creation of eye-catching and pretty invitations
  • letter writing
  • scrapbooking
  • journaling
  • drawing and doodling
  • making those to-do and grocery lists more fun
  • gifts for artists, children, people who journal, and so on
  • popular school store item and/or children's rewards
  • and so much more - take a peek at the very short video and just imagine what you could do


Related Links

Journals - Technology makes writing and recording things as easy as a tap of a key or a flip of a switch. But I love journaling. There is something that increases my creativity when I use the process of hand-writing. Read about Writing and Remembering the Old-Fashioned Way

Drawing and Coloring - Colored pencils are a fun and popular way to create and color. Our very own Heather has created her own line of high-quality colored pencils. If you are giving art supplies as gifts or are yourself artistic, check out Heather's introduction to Aurora Art Supplies

Poster-Sized Color - In the event you need BIG and bold colors, for posters and such, Sharpies are amazing. Sharpies come in marker-sized "fine point", "chisel tip", and "extra bold marker point". 
Colorful Sharpies for those large creations



introduction graphic design created by the author using FotoJet




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Monday, August 7, 2017

Moodle Stressed Review

Moodles - doodles that change your mood.
What is a Moodle? In a Google search, the word "Moodle" brings up a variety of search results. The Moodle I am reviewing is a book series that was designed by the author to improve mood through doodling. This is a book that I personally would have picked up from the shelf, flipped through, then put back on the shelf and wandered away. But after seeing the Stressed volume put to use, I decided that I needed to help spread the word about the Moodle series.  


What is a Moodle and why is there a series?


The Moodle books were written and illustrated by Emily Portnoi. She describes the books as:


"...a new concept in therapeutic doodling - fun doodle books for adults or children, with the power to change your mood"  -- Emily Portnoi

Ms. Portnoi is a Designer, Art Director, and Illustrator. I think that her enjoyment of aesthetics and fun art is easy to see in the pages of her book.


Why I recommend the Moodle Stressed Volume


Since I admitted that this is a book that I would have leafed through then left behind on the bookstore shelf, why would I now recommend that very same book? I recommend it because one of my "kids" recommended it. And I watched as this young person "Moodled" into calmness.

There is nothing new about coloring, doodling, and fidgeting (keeping the hands busy while focusing on a task) as a means of relieving stress or anxiety. Ms. Portnoi writes that her books are a new concept in therapeutic doodling. I don't fully agree with that statement. Doodling/drawing is something that I've done with the kids I work with for just over two decades now (wow, time flies!). Some of the doodles in the Moodle book were very similar to things I've done with the kids over the years.

Are you still wondering why I recommend these books? I can see why you would be wondering that.  Let me explain a little more.


  • The size of the book is a handy size (approx. 6" x 7.8").   
  • The bold print of the illustrations is eye-catching and Ms. Portnoi's illustrations are fun and engaging.  
  • What is new about her books is the variety of activities. All of the suggested doodles are open-ended and can be as brief or detailed as the user chooses.  
  • The page corners are rounded and smooth
  • The pages are thick and a slightly "slick" paper stock (I am not a publisher, so I am unsure of the correct terminology). Not too slick for pens and pencils, but not regular rough paper stock.
  • The feel/texture of the pages were clearly pleasing to the youngster I was with while we colored in the book.

A few quick photos I took of some of the pages in the Stressed volume to show the variety of activities

The book is suitable for pencils, pens, and colored pencils. I did note that my young friend was using markers and gel pens. Some of the most vibrant and "wet" ink markers/pens did slightly bleed through the pages while some of the gel pens did not.

While this book was not my cup of tea, it was clearly very enjoyable for this young person. The activity did in fact improve mood and release stress in a remarkably short period of time. 

As we sat and colored, I realized that I should stock up on some of the books in this series. I think that the book series will be helpful for folks who need to calm, focus, release stress, and improve mood. In my mind, I created a list of some of the people I will recommend the book to - including folks on the Autism Spectrum and who have difficulties with symptoms of anxiety, impulsivity, and ADHD.


The Moodles series offered on Amazon - including Moodles Happy


Related Link


I enjoy coloring and doodling and was recently reminded of the importance of carrying supplies with me. I prefer mandala style coloring pages and discovered these small on-the-go adult coloring books.


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.


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Saturday, June 22, 2019

Color Outside the Lines – Reviewing Summer Color and Activity Books for Kids or Adults

Collage created on FotoJet
Summertime brings us wonderful weather for favorite outdoor activities. But sometimes it is too hot to play outside or rainy days force us inside. That's when some indoor activities are needed. 

Television programs and noisy games are fun, but sometimes 'quiet times' are welcome. Having a variety of coloring and activity books can be a perfect fit for such times. 





Coloring Books


Coloring books for both kids and adults are always fun. Here are a couple new ones to try.

Dr. Seuss Coloring Book



Available on Amazon

The Dr. Seuss Coloring Book is filled with playful patterns and intricate images based on everyone's favorite Dr. Seuss characters, this 80-page coloring book will occupy children from age 7 and up all the way to parents and grandparents who remember the lovable Dr. Seuss books. 

The illustrations come from such Dr. Seuss titles as The Cat in the Hat, Oh, the Places You'll Go, One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, Horton Hears a Who and How the Grinch Stole Christmas, to name a few. 

Now you can color Dr. Seuss any way you want!

The World of Debbie Macomber: Come Home to Color: An Adult Coloring Book



Available on Amazon

While the kids are coloring Dr. Seuss, mom or grandma fans of Debbie Macomber can enjoy their own coloring book. Based on the Blossom Street and Rose Harbor series, this special adult coloring book has 45 original illustrations that depict scenes from the series. Revisit favorite locales and relive the themes from these favorite Debbie Macomber stories. 


Summertime Activities


See on Amazon

Keep the kids entertained when inclement weather spoils vacation fun or the 'kids' start their “I'm Bored” routines with this fun DIY activity book called The Dad Lab.  The book contains 50 projects in the interesting realm of science and technology. The projects are simple and use materials found around the house.  I can already see that the project “make slime with only two ingredients” is one my young grandsons would enjoy. 

A fun way for mom & dad and grandparents to spend quality time with the kids in a way the kids would also enjoy.


Summary


Image from Bev Owens Article
Reviewing Fine Art Colored Pencils
on ReviewThisReviews

Add in some colorful crayons for the kids, and special pens and pencils for the intricate designs for adults and you'll be creating beautiful pages. 

So don't let weather spoil your summer vacation. These coloring and activity books will give everyone hours of fun and enjoyment. 


Check out a variety of fun reviews of other coloring books and coloring pencils on ReviewThisReviews: Coloring Books



(c) Wednesday Elf 6/23/2019




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Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Gifts For Writers Reviewed

Ideas For The Writer On Your Gift List

writer gifts
Writing Gift suggestions image from Pixabay.com
With Christmas coming closer by the day, I thought I would review some ideas for gifts for writers today. You probably don't have many on your list but if you have just one you might not be sure what would be useful to give to them. 

Something that is relatively easy and won't hurt your wallet very much is to get a few notebooks; you know like the ones the kids use in school. Add some pens and pencils and wrap them up as a gift. Now, you might be thinking that this seems a little old school because they most likely use a keyboard to write their stories. Well, yes but those notebooks come in pretty darned handy. I can never have enough of them! I used them to jot down ideas but I also use them to start to define my characters. I will use a page to jot down the physical characteristics, personality traits and the name of the character. It makes it much easier to refer back to while I am writing. Jotting this all down in a notebook helps me to visualize the character and breaths life into their existence into my crowded and addled brain. Trust me, a writer will appreciate getting them.

Last Christmas one of my daughters gave me this book and I really loved it!

I admire Stephen King a great deal and my daughter knows that. Now, I don't read his horror books because quite frankly I am sure he would scare the daylights out of me. What I admire is his absolute genius with words. I digress. The reason I think this is a good gift for a writer is that Mr. King talks about his process and his history as a writer. He doesn't go into the real mechanics of writing in the book. It is like he says, there aren't really any classes or books that can teach you to write. You either have it in you or you don't. What he does share are the struggles of a writer, especially in the early years. He talks about the number of rejections he received in the beginning and how he didn't give up. Sure, in his early years of writing, he hoped to make money but as any writer will tell you, there is more to it than that. There are stories in you that you just have to get out and you just keep at it. Anyway, I truly think that any writer would both enjoy and benefit from reading this book.

Another gift idea for the writer is a whimsical mug that has some sort of saying about writing. I particularly like the one below for the authors of fiction:


I am quite sure that your writer will get a chuckle out of this one every time they pick it up to drink their coffee or tea while writing. Our characters are really no different than those imaginary friends that we had as children. You may not be able to hear them or see them but they are very real to us. It may sound strange to people who don't write fiction but to an author it makes total sense. In order for us to be able to make them come alive with our words; they have to exist in our psyche.

Another option for a mug for that writer on your list is this one:

This one really made me laugh! Authors have to do a lot of research when writing a book. Well, let's  say that they should do research. When I was writing my first book and wanted to use poison to kill someone; I did a lot of browsing on types of poisons. As I was talking my ideas over with my husband he made the comment, "Babe, you better hope that nothing suspicious ever happens to me and the cops start looking at your browsing history!" We both laughed, but he had a point. Seriously!

Something else that every writer should have is a Thesaurus. The writer on your gift list may already have one but a second one would be appreciated; I am sure. You can find one in a local book store or even in the school supply section of your favorite store. It might be something that you could add to those notebooks and writing utensils as a gift.

Of course, you could get books that have to do with the mechanics of writing. My guess is; they probably already know the mechanics, though. It is like Stephen King intimates; the ability to tell a story is inside you or it is not. A person can know all of the ins and outs of grammar and punctuation but if they don't have a story to tell; what good is it?

There are all sorts of little writing aides in the form of books and game like activities that are supposed to help with story ideas. I have a few that have been given to me as gifts. They are kind of fun to use. I find them helpful in just practicing writing. I guess I look at them as sort of an improv type of activity like a comedian might do on stage. They don't really help me come up with an idea for a book but they do help me use my imagination to just write something. I do keep them because you never know when you might read through what you have done and come up with a plot in the future.

Well, I hope I have sparked some ideas for you if you have a writer on your gift list this year. Let me know in the comments if you have some other ideas. 



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Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Back Packs or Rolling Totes!

For many of my friends and family, the time is drawing quickly to a close when summer holidays are a done item and the back to school craziness is again upon us.
Along with all the clothes shopping that needs to be done, there is also that list of items needed for the start of the new school year, and that list seems to grow every time you head out to the store.
There is just that one other new thing you just know will be perfect for your scholar. Whether it's a new backpack, lunch bag, pencils and pens or notebooks, you are sure that you will need them all.



So Will it be a Back Pack or a Wheeled Tote?

The answer will depend on the child....read on!

When kids come home from school, their back packs or rolling totes, seem to be the most important item they will have. After all you need something strong and sturdy to carry home all the books and journals/notebooks that are the sign of a new school year.  Their backpack will need to be large enough to contain all their "things" and at the same time, be manageable for youngsters to either have on their backs or roll home.

Now, I know that many parents seem to be divided when it comes to the "type" of school bag, their kids are going to be using.

Young kids in grades 1 through 3 seem to like back packs that go over their shoulders and hang down their backs. These types of bags do tend to make the children stand up straighter, but sometimes the weight is a little too much for their growing bones to handle.   So,  instead of them standing up taller, they slouch in a way to make the weight lie across their backs a little more evenly. Either that or you have children that have sore backs from carrying the weight of all those books, or the bottoms of their bags are falling out, because they are dragging their backpacks home.  You will have to keep an eye out on your child's behaviors when dealing with their back packs and moving them back and forth.
Having a carrier that has good straps and functional pockets is half the job, the other half is being ergonomically designed so that filled with books, it is still easy to have on your back and not make you tired or sore.  If you are finding that your child is dragging their backpacks along the ground, it just maybe too heavy for them to handle.  In that case a rolling tote is a much better answer.  You don't want your child to arrive at school already tired from the load they are carrying.

If your child is wanting a rolling pack for school, there are also lots of choices.This is just one of the styles available and suitable for school aged children. The only down side to the wheeled packs would be, winter where lots of snow, would make pulling this, just a little cumbersome.

Which ever way you choose to for your youngsters to get their books and gear back and forth to school, I'm sure that there is a fashionable and fun way to do just that.

For every child there is a Back Pack or Rolling Pack to suit their tastes and needs.






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