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  • Artist Turns Rocks Into Doodlestones

    (Update: Bryan Payne's mother Barb just let us know that there is a DoodlestonesUK community on Facebook.)

    doodlestoneOK, this is a project that should go global. We're going to say right up front, we'd love to see this happening in the UK.

    What "this" do we mean?

    Doodlestones, a project created by a man in St. Louis, Missouri named Bryan Payne. He uses markers to draw faces and other features on small, flat stones, then hides them in places around town. Sometimes, he lays them flat in an unobtrusive spot, other times he uses Scotch mounting putty to attach them to surfaces.

    (Payne told us he uses Faber Castell India ink art pens: "I love them, but wear the nibs down pretty fast.")

    Upworthy.com has done an excellent profile of Payne and Doodlestones. From the article:

    Each stone comes from a river in his home state of Missouri. On each stone, he writes "#doodlestone," the date, and "finders keepers."

    He posts photos of the doodlestones on the project's Facebook page with small clues and geotags. People can use those clues to help hunt down the doodlestones. (You can see more photos of his doodlestones at Payne's Instagram account.) They can also create and leave their own.

    The Facebook page seems to have been started in early August and already has more than 3,000 likes. People are starting to post photos of their doodlestones, with hints about where they are hidden.

    Payne told Upworthy he started it to connect people in the St. Louis area, which has been troubled since the shooting of Michael Brown in nearby Ferguson last year. He seems to be accomplishing that.

    It would be such a cool thing if a project like this would start in the UK. With so many wonderful and talented artists here, surely it would not be difficult.

    If anyone were to do it, you can be sure that you'd get as much notice from Tiger Pens Blog as we could give. Projects like this should be celebrated. If anyone makes an attempt, please let us know.

  • Sharpie's Not On Social Media Anymore

    sharpieSo the Sharpie brand seems to have completely abandoned its social media accounts.

    Arik Hanson at Business2Community.com made that interesting catch recently, writing that he discovered it while doing some research for a client.

    When I first saw his article, I thought it might just be a mistake. Surely a huge brand like Sharpie would not just stop interacting with all the people who love using their products.

    But after a little poking around, it became clear that he was right. The last updates on Sharpie's social media accounts were:

    These were significant accounts, too. For example, Sharpie had been on Twitter since 2008, had sent nearly 12,000 tweets and had 188,000 followers.

    There's no indication on any of them that Sharpie planned to stop using social media. They just...end. It's almost a little eerie. Continue reading

  • Rehydrate A Dried Out Sharpie

    rubbing alcoholI have exactly one permanent marker, a small keychain-sized one called the Sharpie Mini that works well for marking plastic freezer containers.

    The last time I went to use it, it was laying in the kitchen drawer with the cap off. Not sure how that happened, but I'm just gonna blame the cat.

    The keychain Sharpie was dead. It refused to write.

    It wasn't that old and hadn't seen a ton of use, and it was the only one I had, so I turned to the collective wisdom of the Internet to fix it.

    The general consensus was that when a permanent marker dies, it usually still has ink in the reservoir; the tip has just dried out and lost its absorbency. Continue reading

  • Crafty Easter Ideas

    With so many colouring pens & markers to choose from, how about unleashing your creative talents for a spot of crafting over the holidays? 2008 Easter Egg Decorating

    The tradition of decorating eggs dates back centuries & can be a fun pastime whatever the weather.

    As any artist knows first you need to decide on your canvas, in this case it could be

    Blown Eggs
    1. Wash them with soap & water
    2. Rinse & dry
    3. Carefully make a hole in the bottom of each egg with a long needle or scalpel
    4. Gently insert a wooden skewer through the hole to pierce the yolk
    5. Make another hole at the top of the egg
    6. Whilst holding over a bowl you need to blow hard through the top hole to empty the egg of its contents
    7. When all that's left is air rinse & leave the shell to dry
    Paper Mache

    1. First make your mix by adding flour to water (about 1/3 flour 2/3 water) until you have a thick creamy consistency
    2. Using narrow strips of newspaper dipped in mixture, carefully layer onto a balloon (water balloons make a the best egg like shapes) until well covered.
    3. Repeat step 2 with plain paper or tissue
    4. Leave until completely dry, this could take a couple of days
    5. Pierce the balloon & voila you have a blank canvass ready for decorating

    If either of these options seems like too much trouble & you just want to get started you could try using hard boiled eggs or buying plastic or polystyrene shapes from a craft store.

    When you're ready to decorate & practice the art work I find Sharpies & Paint Markers are a good place to start, but there are many other top quality brands to choose from

    Happy Easter

  • That's No Sharpie, It's A Survival Tool

    pointie tactical markerA 3-week Indiegogo campaign to create a Sharpie look-a-like that serves as a survival tool – but not a marker – more than doubled its funding goal before it ended earlier this month.

    The Pointie Tactical Marker looks like a Sharpie knock-off, including using Sharpie-style font for its name, but instead of a marker tip, the point is actually a steel spike. Continue reading

  • Sharpie Professional Marker - Review

    Since turning their focus to markers 50 years ago Sharpie have produced markers for a range of uses. The Sharpie Professional is a permanent marker that apparently lasts 50% longer than standard Sharpies.

    Sharpie-Professional-Marker

    I have a Sharpie Professional Marker in black. The grey plastic barrel has yellow rubberised inserts which make for a non slip grip & the oval shaped design of the cap & barrel mean they won't roll of working surfaces. There are 3 small raised squares positioned either side of the cap. These are in line with the yellow rubber section & make it easy to remove the cap if wearing gloves.

    These markers have a versatile chisel tip that writes a 1.5 & 5.3mm line width. Designed for professional use, these Sharpies work on most surfaces & are suited to rough conditions so I'd expect to find them in action in warehouses or on building sites.

    Benefits

    • Can be used on wet, oily & non porous surfaces
    • Water & fade resistant
    • Last 50% longer than standard markers
    • Quick drying ink
    • Oval shaped barrel
    • Cap is easy to remove
    • Non Toxic

    I usually like to add a written sample in the reviews but found it a bit difficult on this occasion. As I doodled I noticed that the ink did bleed through several pages, but as they're designed for more heavy duty work I doubt that will be an issue for most users.

    Continue reading

  • Sharpie W10 Permanent Marker - Review

    Sharpie markers have come a long way since they were introduced back in 1964. American manufacturer Sanford shined the spotlight on an emerging market & the first pen style marker in the form of a Sharpie Fine Point was born.

    Sharpie W10 Permanent Marker

    Markers can be used for a number of different tasks & projects, they can be found in a variety of styles, sizes & colours. It wasn't until 2002 that the Chisel tip made an appearance, the wedge shaped point can produce both fine & broad lines depending on how it is held.

    The Sharpie W10 Permanent Marker has

    • A hard wearing bonded chisel tip that lays down a 1.2 – 5mm line
    • Fade & water resistant ink
    • A reflow ink system & can still be used for up to 21 days if left uncapped

    This marker is available in black, red, blue & green, the chunky barrel's have colour coded grips & caps with a good ink capacity.

    I like to use chisel markers for labels, storage boxes & the like, they also come in handy if I want to cover personal info before recycling etc. I found the W10 to be a smooth writer that also stood up to a water test following an unintentional spillage on the table.

    Markers can be used on mirrors, glass, plastic, metal & fabric, they are also ideal for making the odd poster. Personally I'm not a fan of the art work that you see daubed on buildings but I'm sure the odd marker or two often finds it way into the pockets of the odd budding graffiti artist judging by the tag lines I see on my travels.

    Continue reading

  • Sharpie Pen Stainless Steel - Review

    Marker pens have been around for ages, early memories of a pencil case full of felt tips conjure up rainy days sat around the table with a colouring book, oh how times have changed!

    Sharpie Pen Stainless Steel

    First glance of the Sharpie Pen Stainless Steel I expected to see a fountain pen, when I pulled off the cap to find a felt tip I was a bit surprised. Designed to be used for writing & drawing this pen is not your traditional Sharpie permanent marker pen.

    This pen has a luxurious look about it & yet will still deliver the same bold, smooth lines as other Sharpie markers. The waterproof ink is non toxic as well as acid free it's a deep black, no grey hues that sometimes disappoint. Although Sharpie claim it doesn't bleed through paper some users seem to disagree. For my test albeit unrefined (scientist I'm not) I used a cheap notepad & even a piece of kitchen roll. Nothing was visible on the notepad & the bleed through on kitchen paper was minimal.

    The matt brushed steel barrel is simple yet stylish, the logo doesn't look out of place & the cap fits snugly with a firm click. A pet hate of mine is movement when caps are posted, no problem with this Sharpie there wasn't a rattle to be heard.

    This pen writes a fine 0.4mm line & is easy to refill, just unscrew at the grip & the complete section can be replaced.

    Left lying on a desk I can imagine the Sharpie Stainless Steel Pen would be just the sort of pen to be “borrowed” It's just a shame that black is the only ink colour available.

     

  • Sharpie Twin Tip Marker Review- Two for the Price of 1

    Sharpies have come a long way since the intro of the 1st marker back in 1964. Today there are a whole host of offerings including liquid pencils, fabric & metallic markers in a multitude of colours.

    Sharpie Twin Tip Marker

    One of these examples is the Sharpie Twin Tip Marker, it has a 0.4 & a 1.5 mm tip, effectively a two for the price of one option. I found these tips to be durable, even in my heavy hand. The ink dries really quickly as well as being water resistant and will leave a permanent mark on most surfaces. I've chosen to check out a blue markers moves, its also available in black & red.

    The wide end of the pen is covered by a cap housing a pocket clip. Replacing the cap needed some force, even then I wasn't convinced it was secure, unlike the fine end where the cap clicked into place. The middle section is grey & embossed with logos & the AP certification stamp. Sight of this Approved Product mark should allay any fears of poison or health issues, having been given the seal of approval by medical experts following a toxicological evaluation.

    Now strange habit that it is I like to sniff the tips of my marker pens. Not something to be condoned & I should add its not something to be tried at home, but I know the risks & don't make a habit of it!Probably to be expected the larger tip has the strongest “scent” as the 0.4 tip is so fine.

    I found the caps on these Sharpies a little annoying I wonder if the same can be said by former US President George W Bush who according to the Sharpie Web site is a loyal fan of the brand.

     

  • Using PrismaColor Markers To Guide Wayward Mates

    fairy wrenLet me just preface this post by saying: I take no responsibility for any ideas that anyone may or not get from reading this.

    NBC News had an interesting story from Australia detailing how ornithologists were able to affect the mating habits of two subspecies of fairy-wrens simply by using Sharpie-like markers on them.

    According to the story, the males of fairy-wren subspecies have orange back feathers while the males of the other have red.

    Both sets of birds tend to mate within their subspecies to nest and raise their young. However, the females also like to play the field. Continue reading

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