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KOH-I-NOOR 5.6mm Diameter Mechanical Clutch Lead Holder Pencil - Yellow
KOH-I-NOOR 5.6mm Diameter Mechanical Clutch Lead Holder Pencil - Yellow
Price: £2.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Lightweight and sturdy, a pleasure to use, 17 April 2017
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I'm new to clutch pencils but this is surprisingly comfortable and light to use. I ordered Koh-I-Noor's 'Magic' clutch holder because of the beautiful colours, but I've had to return it due to the weight. This one is plastic and is easy for someone with "bad hands" to hold - it's light but chunky, but all clutch holders are going to be chunky with the large leads these take. The "Magic" one was very well made but it was too heavy to hold for more than a few minutes, it felt like I was holding a lead baton. This is extremely light, to the point where the weight of the holder is not an issue at all. That's a rarity for someone like me.

This one though, I can't recommend enough, especially if you're not sure you'll like it. It comes with a lead inside - sorry, not sure what it is, but it could be their hard charcoal as it is a bit smudgy but hard on the paper. I don't think it's graphite.

I'm really impressed with it, and for £2 for the holder, I'm testing out Koh-I-Noor's other drawing chalks in this thick size.


Faber Castell Fabercastell Gelatos mm Set Steam Punk Colors
Faber Castell Fabercastell Gelatos mm Set Steam Punk Colors

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Black Cherry is actually Violet here - be aware, 18 Feb. 2017
These are overpriced in the UK and there are serious issues with the colouring of Black Cherry. It's actually Dioxazine Violet (if you paint with watercolour you'll know exactly the colour I mean), or it's a vaguely shimmery version of Grape. Plain old Grape that is far cheaper in open stock.

Iced Chai and Iced Coffee are in the Metallics packet, and you're better off getting it than this tiny packet for £30 - you get 12 gelatos for circa £20 in the metallic packet, but four gelatos are £30?! This is not how they are priced in America, by the way.

I've contacted Faber-Castell regarding their open stock Black Cherry colour. Never seen a violet cherry and I doubt I ever will. If you are looking for a deep luscious red/black colour, don't be afraid to mix a few Reeves or Winsor Newton Cotman colours together. Wish I had, as I'm now lumbered with a bunch of Black Cherry gelatos that aren't the colour they advertised or that I needed for a project.


Ranger October Distress Stain, Carved Pumpkin
Ranger October Distress Stain, Carved Pumpkin
Price: £5.31

2.0 out of 5 stars Nice ink but the bottle leaks, 17 Feb. 2017
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Don't get me wrong, the colour is rather fetching, more like tangerine peel. However, the bottle I have leaks when turned upside down or on its side, making transportation an issue as well as regular usage (having to turn it upside down to make it work). These dabber pots are known for failing as well, so don't be surprised if you have to take the top off and get in there with a clean dry brush or pipette.

They do this colour in a spray as well, and as a fan of orange, I really like the ink. Shame about the leaking bottle.


Ranger Distress Spray Stain 1.9oz-Dusty Concord
Ranger Distress Spray Stain 1.9oz-Dusty Concord
Price: £5.20

1.0 out of 5 stars The worst purple I've ever seen., 17 Feb. 2017
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
If you think you're getting a vibrant Concord grape colour, think again. This is a disappointing washed-out boiled aubergine colour. Dull, as if someone had dumped grey into your violet or purple grape colour.

I love violets and purples, but this is so bad I can't find anything it will match with. Useless. Avoid if possible, or if you enjoy grey/violet mixes.


Pebeo 220 ml Studio Gouache, Permanent White
Pebeo 220 ml Studio Gouache, Permanent White
Price: £8.50

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good results for newbie like me, 22 July 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I'm not an expert in using gouache but I do paint with watercolours. This covers deep violet acrylic in one swipe of pure unwatered paint, and I reckon that's good enough for what I need. It also appears a nice bright white from what I can tell.

Again, I can't say it's the best gouache out there as I'm no expert. I haven't tried Winsor Newton's Professional white gouache, but the size of the tube is appealing. It lets me get creative and experiment with adding pigment to it, mellowing colours and seeing what it can do, etc. If you like to do this too, maybe this is for you.

As always, when using a new product from a different manufacturer, I'd give this a test run first. Try it on scrap watercolour paper over some dried dark shades and see how it reacts. Does it lift the colour? Does it cover as well as you want? It's best to spend ten minutes testing than ruining a painting you've spent hours on.


Daler Rowney Simply Watercolor 36 Pans
Daler Rowney Simply Watercolor 36 Pans
Price: £5.00

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Astoundingly awful, 22 July 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I hated these and am ashamed that Daler Rowney put their names on them. When they dry the colour comes off on your fingers, like dried chalk, and so it comes off on the other sheet in your sketchbook. It's not like they are cheap either.

I'd recommend the Winsor and Newton Cotman 12 Pan Pocket palette over this. It's between £6.50 to £7.50 at the time I write this, either here or on other sites. 12 half-pans of Cotman (their student grade) watercolours. I've used them for years and you get some beautiful colours from them, the colour is rich, and it's very compact. If you're after a chalky effect (some stampers do like that). get a cheap set of chalk pastels and use those - they would still be infinitely better than this set.

Daler and Rowney's Simply range has been an utter let down so far. It's not cheap but the quality is awful. The only thing I've liked so far is their Simply Acrylic Gesso. Also, they aren't taking returns on this range with comments from head quarters like 'you get what you pay for'. If you love Daler-Rowney and are new to watercolour, look for the Aquafine range (that's the equivalent to the Winsor Newton Cotman range).

If you possibly can, avoid these like the plague. They aren't worth the hassle and you get better quality from children's paints.


Giotto Mega 5180 00 Thick-Leaded Pencils Set of 24 in Round Tin 14 x Gold and 10 x Silver
Giotto Mega 5180 00 Thick-Leaded Pencils Set of 24 in Round Tin 14 x Gold and 10 x Silver
Price: £17.07

5.0 out of 5 stars Creamy and soft leads, no smudging, 22 July 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
These have some wonderfully soft leads in them, especially considering they are metallic. I've found myself reaching for the gold pencils just to sketch things out, and this is due entirely to how it feels in my hand and how it goes down on the paper. Think of writing with a lovely kohl eye pencil and you're almost there, but the pencil marks don't smudge.

I know these are aimed towards children but I've got bad hands. Finding soft pencils that don't smudge is a chore, but these are lovely to work with. I can't say that I've noticed a lot of metallic shine from the gold ones, but the Mega type of pencil seems easy to use and last ages.


Pebeo 250 ml Studio Acrylics Auxiliaries Sand Texture Gel Tube, White
Pebeo 250 ml Studio Acrylics Auxiliaries Sand Texture Gel Tube, White
Price: £4.85

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Fell off repeatedly, had to return, 22 July 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Perhaps I got a bad tube, but this stuff was useless and was returned. It didn't have enough binder in it so it fell off the canvas, no matter how thick or thin it was applied. Adding Elmer's school glue vastly improved adhesion, but it left a shiny coating and STILL bits were falling off. If you've gel medium to hand, you may be able to salvage a bad batch of this product, but then one would question why not just buy white sand and do it yourself?

Texture wise I would say this is very coarse. If you were looking for a finer tooth, perhaps this isn't the gel for you. Wish I could say how it worked with acrylic paint but it just wouldn't stay put.

I've had rotten luck with Pebeo, particularly their watercolours (both pans and tubes). However their big 220ml tube of white gouache seems rather good in quality, it even covers dark violet acrylic on one pure application. I really wish they could offer consistent results.


Swan  3.5 Litre Retro Slow Cooker
Swan 3.5 Litre Retro Slow Cooker

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Two duds in a row, 7 April 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
My first example of this slow cooker was faulty. The lid wouldn't sit on the ceramic pot properly, leaving a 1cm gap between lid and pot. Didn't matter how I twisted or tapped it, it was unusable as it would never build up the steam needed to cook food. Amazon were helpful and sent out a replacement, which had a 1 inch split on the inner rim. This was a manufacturing fault, not the result of being dropped, and it would let water/stock/stew in.

I thought of trying the second one's lid with the first one's pot, to see if I could get one functioning item, but to no avail. The lid wouldn't sit flush because the pot wasn't thrown properly, and no lid ever would.

I really wish I could have received a functioning pot. It looked lovely and I waited a long time for it, but two duds is too many. Sadly this isn't the only slow cooker firm to be shipping out duds at the time of writing.


Helix 34x20x8mm Printed Eraser - White (Box of 40) Y94040
Helix 34x20x8mm Printed Eraser - White (Box of 40) Y94040
Price: £8.41

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Tiny and useless, 24 Sept. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
You're better off with 99p shop erasers. These are too small to do anything with, really. You know the free erasers you get in a maths set? They are all that size. Steer WAY clear of them.

Also, these didn't have the size of the erasers in the listing when I bought. They were sold as 'large'. Ha. No good to man nor beast.


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