Monday, August 6, 2018

Monday's Tangle - Puzzled

"Puzzled" is by Ellen Wolters and I found her step-out HERE on Flickr. The pattern shows a plain version but I drew some fine strips on some of my puzzle pieces. If you make the pieces large enough, you could draw all kinds of tangle inside of them. See if you can spot the puzzle piece that I drew incorrectly. Actually there is one more piece that is wrong because of my first mistake.

Prismacolor Pencil Problem

I had read that there are issues with Prismacolor pencils having a tendency to break but I hadn't experienced that myself until last night. I wanted to use 70% French Grey but the lead broke. No matter how many times I sharpened it again, either the lead broke off inside the sharpener or it broke the instant I attempted to use it. Unfortunately, they don't sell that color at Hobby Lobby or Michaels so I won't be able to replace it unless I order some art supplies from Blick. What a bummer because I've hardly used that pencil and who knows if the next one will do the same thing? Has anyone heard if that particular color is problematic? The lead in it seems very soft, almost like putty.

Well, I may have fixed it, at least temporarily. After typing my comments above, I decided to try sharpening the pencil one more time but with my old hand-crank sharpener. I figured that I had nothing to lose by trying it even though it's not recommended to use that kind of sharpener on good colored pencils. My thinking was that the pencil was useless to me as it was so I gave it a shot and it seems to have done the trick. I think it ground the pencil down far enough to get past the bad spot. It would have taken far to long to do that with my manual sharpener.


  1. AWESOME! I love the finelined stripes! Beautiful! Thanks for sharing!

  2. I haven't heard about breakage with a particular color, but I've read the "lead" core in Prismacolor pencils are highly prone to breaking inside the wood if they're dropped. Someone told me once that you'll get less breakage if you hold the pencil still and rotate the sharpener instead of twisting the pencil so I've always done that. I've also heard of people putting the pencils in a sunny spot for a bit (or even microwaving the pencils for a few seconds!) to soften the wax; when it cools down supposedly they fuse back together. Haven't tried it yet, but if I get one that's otherwise useless I might. Hmmm, unless there's metal in the lettering...

    Ah - found the 2 oops pieces. Wouldn't have noticed if you hadn't mentioned!

    -Barbara H.

    1. I heard that too about turning the sharpener while holding the pencil still but I felt like I didn't have enough control that way. Until this particular pencil, I haven't had a issue twisting the pencils in the sharpener. I do use a nice KUM pencil sharpener with a very sharp blade. I wonder if it's time to replace the blade.