Saturday, March 12, 2011

sketchbooks: FLEXI-SKETCH

Another new category in my blog is going to be sketchbooks. I admit it right now that I am addicted to GOOD sketchbooks. I am always on the search for that perfect sketchbook...not too big or too small...the perfect weight of paper....bright white pages....aesthetically pleasing...I could go on and on. I carry one every where I go. I have one at work, one (or two) in my bag, one on the writing desk in my livingroom, one open in my studio, etc. I think everyone should. Even if you dont consider yourself an artist, think how handy it would be. To doodle in while on the phone, or to make lists in while waiting to pick up the kids after practice, or to sketch in while eating lunch at your desk. Ok, ok, I will also admit I am a bit of an art geek and I know this may be of no interest to many so feel free to skip over this section if it bores you. I wont be hurt ;)

But for those that might be interested...I introduce the Flex-Sketch by Carnet de Croquis:

I wanted to try one of these for over a year. But they werent available locally and I am too cheap to pay the shipping when the postage cost is more than the item itself especially when I havent first gotten to handle the book or feel the paper. But then one day I was in Middlebury with my Mom on a little shopping trip. I ran in the cute bookstore on my way to put more money in the meter and there it was. They come in several sizes but there it was, the exact one I wanted. The 6" x 12" Flexi-Sketch with the light blue cover. Not a bad price but it was plastic wrapped and I couldnt feel or see the paper so I hesitated. When I went back to the store later, my Mom just picked it up and bought it and called it an early xmas gift. She is good. Very very good. Anyway, I got home later that day and opened it. I found the covers to be thin but very durable and the thickness of the book itself gave a stable base for use without a table or desk. The paper was a gorgeous smooth bright white and a very respectable 75 lb weight. As advertised, they open pretty flat and the binding holds up very well (so far). These compact sketchbooks have a ton of paper. Yup, I loved it! So when I was scouring through Borders one day this past winter, I was shocked and very very happy to see the orange 6" x 6" and the gold 8" x 8" Flexi-Sketch. The other two sizes I wanted. Why were they there!?!? I still have no idea but it gets better. THEY WERE IN THE CLEARANCE SECTION! Yup, red labeled. The orange one was $3.99 and the gold one was $5.99! WTF?! I scooped up what they had and lugged my strained basket of goodies down the stairs. At the register I hefted that haul onto the counter and whipped out my borders card and coupon. I couldnt understand why bells and whistles werent going off and why balloons werent falling from the ceiling. I thought that happened every time someone won the lottery ;) Currently I am loving the orange 6" x 6". It fits in the smallest purse and really stands up to being thrown around and jostled. The paper takes both pencil and pen wonderfully.I went back to Borders again a few weeks later to find more. My name is Pamela Harris and I am a sketchbookaholic. A sketchbookaholic that found Flexi-Sketch at less than half price!! I can not wait to fill every one of these! Well, everyone but maybe one or two that I might give away. Who doesnt love an online giveaway?! :) After I get my blog and facebook synced I will be doing some online giveaways. Keep an eye out. These lil' guys are worth it :) Above you see the first Flexi that I stumbled upon in Middlebury. I found the green 6" x 9" Flexi at a new art store in the area. On my second trip to Inspirations in Essex I saw it proudly sitting there on a special display table. They had other sizes but I have a thing for the long landscape sketchbooks and I couldnt rationalize purchasing any more. They were priced a bit more than any where else but I didnt have to pay shipping and I kind of expect the higher prices at smaller stores. So I got to support a local business AND affirm my multiple purchases at Borders by realizing I paid less for THREE of the orange Flexis than I did for this green one. I know, it is sickness. What is not pictured is the 9" x 12" Flexi I found at Borders the second visit. I got just one because I had enough free Borders Bucks to cover it. It was $9.99; a great deal but come on, I had to show a glimmer of restraint. Plus, it is a bit bigger than I usually like to use; I prefer my larger sketchbooks to have spiral binding for easier use.

Ok, I have put enough people to sleep. Time to go put some pen to paper to justify these purchases.

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