Tuesday, 3 July 2007


As you know I use coloured pencils to add colour to my patterns using my Colourque(R) technique. Today I have been working on my manuscript for the book on this technique and thought I'd share some hints and tips for my favourite pencils, the Derwent brand... They are all listed on the Cumberland Pencil Company's website, makers of the Derwent brand.

some info for sharpening your pencils: from their website with permission

Sometimes people forget that a pencil sharpener or a craft knife is a blade just
like a razor or a kitchen knife. You wouldn’t dream of using the last two for long periods
of time without sharpening the blades, but somehow we expect a pencil sharpener
to last forever.
Pencil sharpeners
To use a pencil sharpener, keep the pencil and the sharpener in a straight
line. Do not insert the pencil at an angle or the point will be subjected
to unnecessary pressure and may break.
Pencil sharpeners work very well when new and sharp, but do not last
nearly as long as people think. There are a couple of easy ways to check
whether a sharpener is blunt:
1. Examine the wood around the pointed pencil. If the surface of the
wood is smooth, then the sharpener is sharp. If the wood is rough or
‘furry’ then the sharpener is becoming blunt. A very blunt sharpener
will produce a very rough surface on the pencil point.
2. Watch the shavings coming out of the sharpener. A good pencil
sharpener will produce a long, continuous sliver of shavings.
The blunter the sharpener the smaller the pieces of shaving become.
If you start to see shard-like pieces coming out of the sharpener, then throw it away.

beginning a project with Tess' class at school tomorrow ready for the Island Threads exhibition in 2008. Had Tess trial it last night, had a few problems so will see how it goes with 28 of them in one class and a teacher who tells me she cannot sew - but I think she is more capable than she says, has lovely artwork in class all the time and has already had them sewing several things- they all have their own needle and we have had to make a set of things for Tess to keep hers in, I will take a pic of what she made for school tomorrow.

hugs for today


Kim Turner said...

Hi Helen Kim Turner here I was in Townsville the same time as you and have done a workshop or two with you at Jan's place. Anyway I now live on the Sunshine Coast and love using your Hug n Kisses patterns and can't wait tfor your colourque book to come out. I work at Nimble Stitches in Buderim and we sell quite a few of your patterns. You don't mention which pencils from Derwent you use. Keep up the great designing. LOL Kimz

Helen Stubbings said...

HI Kim, lovely to hear from you again. For the basic method of Colourque in all my patterns and books I use the Artist or Studio ranges of pencils. H

Corinna said...

Hi Helen,

So happy to have stumbled across your blog.

Thanks for the tips for sharpening my derwents. I saved all my p9cket & B'day money up in Grade 5 to get my set of 72 Artists Pencils. I always thought I needed to use a blade to sharpen - now 23 years later I know better.

Look forward to reading your future entries,

Happy Stitching Corinna

Helen Stubbings said...

HI corrina, it always pleases me to know there are other pencil fanatics out there. I always took half the pencil off with a blade but yes I have been learning alot about them also as I have been doing more research for my manuscript. You think you know everything about a subject that is necessary until you delve deeper, and I guess in Grade 5, drawing was all they needed to do!