Good morning everyone!
So I can now reveal - and I am ecstatic about this - that I will be demonstrating for Premium Art Brands on Create and Craft tomorrow, Wednesday 13th March at 6pm! Woohooo!! I cannot wait!!
PAB bring us lovely Pan Pastels and Graph'Its and both are absolute must-have products in my stash these days!
I've been using Pan Pastels for a while now and I adore them, they have very much taken over from my Distress inkpads a lot of the time because I find them so much easier to use and get brilliant results, plus they're very versatile too.
If you get frustrated and get inky lines when you use your Distress inks to edge etc, you need Pan Pastels! Plus you can do loads of other cool stuff with them too and I'll be sharing more of that in the coming weeks, but in the meantime you should head over to the Pan Pastels blog and find out what all the amazingly talented people over there are doing with them too!
Which brings me to Graph'Its...new pens I hear you ask?
Yes, NEW PENS!!! and of course you know me...had to give them a try didnt I?
Well, it would be rude not to!!
Graph'Its are ALCOHOL based and have been developed by Oz International, a French company who know their onions about Alcohol pens. And boy, do they KNOW their onions!! I had the absolute pleasure of meeting Paul, Berni and Nathalie, the actual inventor of these yummy creations about 3 or 4 weeks ago when they asked me to demo for them...the product was developed to bring us the best of everything about alcohol markers all in one pen, and Nathalie hasn't disappointed me! As soon as I used one just to scribble and blend 2 colours together I knew the quality stood for itself.
There are a number of differences between Graph'Its and others on the market...
1. Colour, Colour, Colour!! This speaks volumes to me - the colours are SO rich and vibrant but this does not mean you get dayglo bright colours, just merely that the tones are very vibrant and rich which helps to give you a real depth of colour and tone and shade in your work - some of my best colouring ever has been achieved already with these and I've only had them a couple of weeks and I have to say the colour palette across the range is totally my cup of tea, really lovely tones and not too bright, the options for denims and greys are unbelievable! There are colours in this range you simply won't find in others because they've been so well thought out.
2. 158 colours in the range - Nathalie has used Carlin International, a worldwide recognised trend forecasting agency to bring us colours which are on the nail in terms of 2013's fashion and design world colours...12 gorgeous tones which are right up there in the collections from Top Fashion Houses, Car manufacturers and Interior Designers' colour palettes this year - a fantastic idea! Because of this, lots of fashion and graphic design students are using Graph'Its too and for me, that means they're doing something right!
3. In the first 6 months since these were launched in 2012 over half a million pens have been sold! OMG!! Like...OH...EMMM...GEEE! HALF a million in 6 months!
4. Storage, Storage, Storage!!
And can I just say - STORAGE again!!
Because Nathalie uses the product every day, she completely understands what we need as crafters and addresses those needs. There are fantastically useful roll up wallets which hold 12 pens each, plus sets of 12 already come in really neat boxes which are lockable and can be stacked into a modular system with a little homemade tweaking - and I know for a fact there will be more storage solutions to come as we build up our collections.
5. Mixing - we have the ability to mix our colours to create bespoke colours on a special mixing palette which has been developed - this is completely re-usable and adds another dimension to your colouring!
6. Price - at £2.49 RRP per pen this product is SO affordable and considering the manufacturer says the barrel is filled 20%* more than most other brands that means extaordinary value! Obviously, packs are even better value (*manufacturer information)
7. Continuity for collecting - across all the current packs there are only about 4 colours which are repeated so if you're building a collection you won't end up with loads of repeats you don't need if you buy the most cost-effective way through packs - I call this looking after your customers and understanding their needs!
Anyway, I think i have raved enough already - PLEASE tune in on Wednesday at 6pm on Create and Craft to see me demo these lovelies and you can judge for yourself...I realise we are not all Rockafellers (me included) and you are probably still building your other collections BUT these are now planted safely on my desk and are my current pen of choice it has to be said...the skintones alone are making me use these and knowing all the other developments which are on their way I can't see me giving these up any time soon, in fact I am almost jumping up and down with excitement at the new stuff that's coming.
If you want to just try a few to see what you think then I highly recommend you go for skintones and you will fall in love with the results you're going to get.
They ARE more opaque than the others you may be using but that is how we can get the richness of colour and you can use them in exactly the same way as I've always told you, it just will take you a day or so to get used to the new colours and the blending which you need adjust just a little bit compared to others, but use the same techniques as on my DVD and stick to my swatch rules and you will not be disappointed I'm sure. I find that I actually use less colours on each section but still achieve a better result and more depth of tone I think...tune in and let me know what you think, I'd love your feedback xx