Handicrafts by Kate Perry and other ramblings

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


I wasn't in the right frame of mind for my usual Wednesday morning sewing group, so I was around at home for a while. The first thing I did was try to take one photo that showed all twenty-three of the little (10cm square) Christmas cards I had been making. I finished them last night so my desk was completly clear. I needed to make a tiered stand so my big Spanish/English dictionary came in very handy. This was layered up with a couple of craft books, some storage boxes, some long acrylic stamp blocks and my mini easel. I got the photo I wanted (See my previous post), so I thought I'd show you the back view! Just next to that, in front of my printer with the coloured cloth over it, is my canvas bag of basic art materials that I keep packed to take to the art group in the village on Monday afternoons. I am fishing in it all the time to use the things, but if I am running late on a Monday, which is nearly always, I know I can grab the bag and run, and there will be something in there to keep me busy for a couple of hours.

Above that is a small basket containing my xyron sticker making, cocktail sticks, a pot for small stray items that I find all over the place, and loads of other bits and pieces. I keep this covered to stop the cats playing with it all.

Round a bit further, just to the left of where I sit, is a plastic shoe-box containing all my sticky stuff from glossy accents to PVA to silicone glue, glue dots and double sided tape. It is useful to keep it all within reach. In front of that is a water mister and two bottles of 90% alcohol, bought off the shelf in most Spanish supermarkets. It cleans up almost anything, from permanent markers to sticky scissors, and I regular wipe some over my green mats as I am a messy worker, and they always have something on them that shouldn't be there. And in front of that again is my box of copic markers - I have one set of 72 colours and I need to get the other set, but while I have been saving up for them, they have brought out another 45 colours. How tough is that! In the meantime, I supplement my range of colours with a handful of promarkers, (in the square pot) that I bought several years ago when they were introduced at the NEC show, and a set of flexmarkers bought recently in UK.

A question for all users of alcohol ink pens. - How do you store yours? I read somewhere that upright is better than horizontal, and the storage containers available for them all suggest this. But - I have encountered two problems. One of my copic markers appears to have dried out already. It is not one I use that often, but it is quite dry. None of the others bought at the same time are dry at all. I will buy a reinker for it, but I am wondering whether it has a faulty cap and I should be thinking of replacing the whole pen instead of refilling this one. Also the Flexmarkers that I bought last month are very, very pale colours. When I use them they almost make the paper just look wet, and you have to wait for them to dry to see the colour. I thought one of them didn't actually have any colour in it, but I have since discovered that the chisel tip makes the paper pastel pink, while the brush end leaves it colourless! Has anyone else experienced this? If I didn't live overseas I would probably send it back, but from here, it may not be worth the hassel. I have tried shaking it, and storing it with the brush tip downwards but it has not made a difference. That one certainly isn't dry, just without colour. I just love using these pens, but they are too expensive to buy faulty ones. What are your feelings about them? I'd appreciate your comments. Thanks.

Now it's time to link this to Julia's blog and see what my crafting friends are getting up to this week.


Julia Dunnit said...

Ooh Kate, I'm sorry to say that I can't help over the pens...so not my forte..but am pretty sure someone will know! I love the backstage view of your photo session - this is perfectly WOYWW stuff - just what I had in mind all those weeks ago!!

dianneo said...

Mine are stored flat, but I honestly don't know what is best!

Debs Willis said...

I always recommend storing the alcohol pens flat so they don;t dry out. The shop displays are all about visibility and ease of displaying packages, but not great for the pens. one of my ladies bought a brand new set of Pro Markers that had been hung up in their packaging, and most of them had dried out - of course, they could have been there for a while!

also, people have said the same as you about the Flex markers. The pale ones are so pale that you can hardly see htme - donlt think it's a flaw, think that's what they're supposed to do - offer a very pale version of alcohol pens, as most existing colours are more vibrant.

Thanks for sharing your pics - I am in awe that you have completed so many christmas cards - mine will be a last minute job as usual!!

Debs #102

Made by Mandy said...

Hi Kate,

I store my Promarkers and Flexmarkers laid down and have never had a problem with drying out.

Regarding the very pale Flexmarkers, sets 1 and 2 have to be 'primed' to bring the colour to the small tip. You basically have to colour for quite a bit until the ink runs through these ones. If you have a look at the Letraset website there is more information on this and some sheets you can print off which give you the right size are to colour in. You only have to do this once when you start using them.

Hope that helps :)

Love Mandy xxx

Deb said...

well done on all those Christmas cards, you are so organised!
I store my Copics horizontal in a box in the cupboard to keep them cool and away from sunlight and they seem to last a long time!
Happy WOYWW!
have a great day, Debxx #100

inkypinkycraft said...

Gosh how organised with alal those Christmas car, puts me to shame! Happy woyww trace x

inkypinkycraft said...

Gosh how organised with alal those Christmas car, puts me to shame! Happy woyww trace x

Di said...

Oh Kate - so organised and super to see behind the scenes of your photo shoot! I store my PMs horizontally in a specially made rack - posted about this on my blog a while ago here: http://pixiescraftyworkshop.blogspot.com/2011/05/woyww-102.html
But, I've also been the victim of totally dry (with no sign of colours even) PMs in the past. Infuriating, especially when you live out of the UK I'm sure. Happy WOYWW!! Di xx

Marjo said...

Copics can be stored any way you want, it shouldn't make any difference. You just need to make sure you hear the click when you close them up.

Thanks for the peek and sharing. Hope you are having a great WOYWW,
xoxo Marjo #109

Angie said...

There seems quite a debate over storage ...I have my pro markers flat ...but IF they are up right is it fine point up or down ????

I do not use my pens a great deal ...they were a bit of an impulse buy when i had some cash on me ...and a bought a little pack of flexi one ...must try them lol ...will report back if a problem xx

Shoshi said...

Hi Kate, I only have water-based pens (and I don't use them very often) but store them flat so they don't dry out. I've heard that most people store ProMarkers flat, as well. Love the way you've displayed your cards - good to see the back view!

Thanks for your lovely comment on my blog. Although my throat didn't feel right, I was able to do the class and it was great - we all enjoyed it! Afterwards, though, I got very shivery and went to bed when I got home and I now feel v. poorly and have lost my voice.

Bridget Larsen said...

I have never heard of alcohol ink pens, mind you down here in Australia we miss out on lots of stuff if it werent for blogs
Bridget #29