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STORM eau de toilette for women comes in a gorgeous clear pink bottle. It is very feminine with a silver clasp around the middle displaying the brand name 'STORM LONDON'. I think it's very simple compared to a lot of fragrances who put a lot of detail in to creating their own unique bottle, but the simplicity works because it's still pretty and looks good on display.
You can buy this fragrance from a lot of online shops and also from places like Bodycare, department stores etc. The best deals for it will be online though. I paid about £15 for my 30ml bottle, but as I say, there are deals to be had. It is also available in 50ml and 100 ml bottles.
The fragrance is said to include 'notes of Mandarin and Bergamot along with rich florals such as Jasmine and Rose. It's a fresh floral fragrance with deep long lasting base notes of musk and vanilla.'
I would say that this describes the perfume pretty well. It definitely has a lovely floral feminine smell and i can smell the fruitiness of the mandarin and vanilla in it. It is quite a sweet smelling fragrance and so I don't put too much on as it can be strong if you overdo it, but the slight hint of musk deepens the smell just enough for it to not be overpowering. It is definitely a girly scent and the pink bottle reflects that perfectly. It is not an overly complicated scent and I would say it's a sweet pleasant scent that does last for quite a long time and so reapplication throughout the day isn't as necessary.
If I was to suggest a target age range for this perfume, I would say it is best suited to late teens/20's/early 30's. It has quite a young feel to it in my opinion.
For the price, I think this is a lovely perfume, but I do have one or two others on my shelf that I would choose above it if I had to.
'Live' was Jennifer Lopez's fourth fragrance. She has brought out quite a few since too!
Now I must admit I am always weary when celebrities bring out fragrances and prefer to stick to the well know classic established ones. I also admit that the fact this fragrance was a Jennifer Lopez one put me off a little... but then I saw it and more importantly smelt it.
The fragrance comes in many different sized bottles, but my current bottle is the 50 ml one. I was bought it from Boots for £26 though I know they currently have it on offer so it is a lot cheaper. I am sure you can also buy it a lot cheaper now elsewhere (for example, superdrug, bodycare).
The box is a dark red/maroon colour with contrasting bright lime and pink writing. I must say that the box is not the most inspiring or appealing I have seen. It's really quite plain considering just how pretty the actual bottle is! I have got rid of the box and just keep the bottle on display as it's so lovely! The bottle is a very feminine shape and the colours are gorgeous. It changes colour and shines in the light! It is a mixture of greens, pinks and gold.
These are the fragrances that the perfume is meant to contain:
Top Notes of Italian Orange, Sicilian Lemon and Pineapple. Heart Notes of Spicy Violet, Redcurrant and Peony. Drydown Base of Caramel Tonka Beans and Sandalwood.
Now having read that I wouldn't say it would normally be my kind of fragrance. If this is the case for you too, don't let it put you off! You really must try this perfume because it totally wins you over!
For me, I loved it as soon as I smelt it. It is a fragrance you can wear for both day and evening. I prefer to use it when I'm all dressed up. It's not a really sweet - catch at the back of your throat - type smell. It's a deep, heavier, summery evening, wearing a sexy outfit, kind of smell! It lasts a long time - I usually don't have to reapply. It is a very seductive smell but is not too overpowering - I usually get compliments about it! I can smell the fruit and flowers in it and I think the sandalwood just makes the smell deeper if that makes sense.
This perfume is very elegant. In my opinion it would best suit those in their 20's and 30's. It is a little too 'grown up' for teenagers who would probably prefer the much lighter, more sickly sweet scents.
A little of this perfume goes a long way and it has definitely been my overall favourite fragrance of the past few years.
After reviewing Carr's water table biscuits, I thought I'd review one of the alternatives to these that I've tried.
Tesco's high baked water biscuits as an alternative are certainly cheaper at only 63p for a 200g packet. In fact they are not only cheaper than Carr's water table biscuits, but one of the cheapest I've found.
As with all crackers, they are great for snacking on, adding butter to, or putting your favourite spread or cheese on for example.
The main point of my review though is to sum up if they are a better alternative to the leading brands out there, and in particular, Carr's water table biscuits.
The plus points of these crackers would not only be that they are obviously cheaper, but that they are much sturdier. In comparison to my favourite brand of table water biscuits (Carr's) they are much thicker, therefore making them sturdier. They don't break or crumble as easily when you try spreading a topping on them, so you can apply a bit more pressure with your knife and don't end up with as many broken off flakes left in your hand or on the plate. It seems they are also a little healthier with 5 less calories per 100 grams than Carr's version. In my opinion this is hardly a big difference though and so wouldn't be much of a factor for me.
Where I feel Tesco's brand version lets you down is that they have much less flavour. I just don't find them as tasty at all. In fact I think they are much drier and take a lot longer to chew and to swallow. This really isn't something you want in crackers! They make you more thirsty! I also find they are really 'claggy' which is a definite downside to me - they get stuck in your teeth and the roof of your mouth much more than other varieties. Even when the taste of my topping has gone I'm still left trying to swallow the remains of the cracker.
To sum up, if you want to save money then go for the Tesco's high baked water biscuits. If taste and quality is more important to you then stick to the Carr's water table biscuits!
Note: Tesco's high baked water biscuits contain wheat flour and may contain sesame seeds.
Carr's table water biscuits are a favourite in our household. We always have some in the cupboard! They are great for snacking on and are only 14 Calories per biscuit! I much prefer them to the larger crackers as these are a lovely small size that can be eaten in 2 bites (or one if you have a really big mouth!).
You can eat them with some many things, the list is endless. You can just spread butter on them and eat them, or why not add a slice of cheese too? I like to spread pate on mine (sooo nice together). They are a great idea for little snacks or have a plate full of them with different toppings on for your lunch! I love to do this! They are a great alternative to using bread for a sandwich. You could also eat them as a starter to a meal or to finish a meal.
Carrs water biscuits are much better than other brand versions in my opinion. They are more expensive, but it is worth it for the better taste. They are crumbly (spread your toppings on gently!) and they dissolve in your mouth. They don't leave you with a 'claggy' mouth like other brands do. I have found that other brand versions leave you with bits all stuck in and around your teeth and I really don't like that. Carr's are light and crispy, so much so that you can even eat them on their own if you like.
Carr's do many different flavours of water biscuits/crackers now, but I think that you just can't beat these plain tasting original ones. They are a staple buy for our kitchen cupboard and are worth the extra money. You can buy a 125g pack for around 95p in all the major supermarkets.
Nutritional information (per biscuit)
Energy 58kj / 14 kcal
(of which Sugars) 0.2g
(of which saturates) 0.1g
Worth noting: they do contain gluten.
A few months ago I saw that the Body Shop was having a sale and decided to go and have a look around. I was drawn to their large range of Body Butters and proceeded to spend the next 10 minutes trying all the tester pots, drinking in their fragrances and having a dilemma over which I would buy as there were about 3 or 4 I could have happily gone home with!
I finally decided on the Raspberry Body Butter as it smells so delicious that I wanted to eat it! It is just like the smell of the best Raspberry yoghurt you've ever tasted. Now, if raspberry isn't your thing, this is obviously not the product for you. If it is, then you need this product!
The tub of cream I bought was the large 200ml one and it is normally priced at £12.20. Now I know your eyes are probably popping out now you've read that price - so did mine! At £12.20 I just cannot justify buying this for myself as it is a big dent in my pocket, but if I had a birthday coming up, then I would not mind adding this to my birthday list! ;o)
As it happens, the sale that was on meant that this product was half price and was marked down to £6! Excellent! This was a price I was happy to pay and I will look out for the body butters in their sales from now on!
The body butter itself is very rich and creamy. It is very smooth and moisturizes your skin really well. Its consistency is a little like whipped cream and by that I mean that it is not gooey and liquid enough that it runs, but not solid enough that you have to really work the cream in to your skin. It is just right and scoops out with your fingers and absorbs quickly into your skin. It leaves you with that lovely smooth feel that body butters often do and a nice subtle sheen to your skin. I like to use it on my hands as it doesn't leave them 'greasy' and I also like to use it on my legs after shaving. The fragrance lasts for a long time - I really like this about this body butter. I find I often smell my hands for ages after applying because the smell is so yummy! When I've put some of this on, people often give me that half second puzzled look upon greeting me and say 'what is that lovely smell?!'.
The Raspberry Body Butter is in a lovely looking screw lid tub container that I will reuse when all the cream is gone. It is a lovely Raspberry colour and looks nice on my bedside table. The container says it is best for normal skin, but I get quite dry hands and it works a treat for me.
The key ingredients in the Raspberry Body Butter are:
Raspberry extract which provides the wonderful smell.
Organic soya oil which has great moisturizing and healing properties.
Babassu oil which is a wonderfully light and non-greasy skin moisturizer.
As always with The Body Shop products, I love that they are animal testing free and that they support community trade. This makes the product even better in my view!
I am finding that even with regular use, this tub is lasting me ages and i'm very glad i bought it.
When a lady at our local shop recommended we try this little bag of dried fruit, we thought we'd give them a try.
I've bought dried apricots before, but had never seen any dried mango. I'd also never seen any products by the company that makes them before - Urban Fresh Fruit.
At 99p for a little bag, they were quite expensive. The packaging claims that they are 100% healthy though - the ONLY ingredients are 2 whole mangos. Nothing else is added and I was quite impressed by this. I also liked the plain white 'no fuss' packaging and when I read on the back of the packet 'Think of it as an easy way of staying healthy or challenging your chocolate bar!' i put back the Wispa I had also picked up! Natural fruit towards my 5 a day and 120kcals has to be better than a Wispa bar!
So, once home, I opened the bag and inspected the contents. The dried pieces of hard shrivelled mango reminded me of a leather wash rag my dad used to clean the car when I was young, but that may not mean much to anyone else...! They do look and feel leathery and I can imagine that if you were to give these to a child, they'd be put off by the site of them straight away... as was I to be honest! They don't look appealing, but I thought I'd see if they at least tasted better.
Well, they are very hard to chew at times and once I'd broken them down they got stuck in my teeth! They did feel like I was chewing something leathery and I wasn't overly impressed by the taste either - you can tell its mango, but for me, no substitute for the real thing. I persevered and ate about 4 or 5 pieces, then put them in the cupboard. Well, if you don't try things, you never know do you!
Fats forward to 3 days later... I open the cupboard and see the rest of the packet still on the shelf. I decide to try them again and I must admit, they didn't seem quite as bad. Whether it was because I knew what to expect or just that my taste buds were a little different, I actually finished the packet. I looked at the packet again and googled the companies website www.urbanfreshfruit.com and discovered they do a wide range of other dried fruit - many of which I like much more than mango and found myself wondering if my shop also sold the other flavours! I would actually like to try ones like strawberry, banana, kiwi and black cherry!
You can't fault them on the health front - fruit is good for you and I love the idea that they are bringing you different ways to eat it. I don't know of anyone else that offers dried strawberries, kiwi, etc. They are a great alternative to a packet of crisps or a chocolate bar and a convenient way to get your daily fruit portion.
Taste wise, I wasn't that impressed with the mango ones. They didn't look appealing and were too hard to chew for my liking. It wouldn't put me off trying their other flavours though and apparently most supermarkets sell them which I wasn't aware of. I'm not sure how I've missed them!
I have yet to find a fellow being who does not like Pringles. They are, quite simply, utterly moreish.
Although probably not the healthiest of crisps (see info below) they are addictive and their well known slogan is certainly true for me 'once you pop, you can't stop!'
The sour cream & onion flavour is my favourite. My reason for writing this review? I am sat with a tube next to me... or should I say a half empty tube, as I have just probably scoffed way more than I intended to. I would like to find someone who can eat just a few of these and have the willpower to put the tube away after. If that person is in fact you, please comment in the comment box - you are one strong person!
There are other brands of this flavoured crisp out there and yet these are my favourite. They have the flavour just right. It really does taste like sour cream and onion. The other thing that makes Pringles great is their shape and how the crisp is made. It's an instantly recognisable crisp in a bowl amongst others due to its great curvy shape and its smooth unblemished appearance. It's not a flimsy crisp and yet still breaks easily in your mouth. I love the sound it makes when you crunch it! Unlike some crisps, that are thinly cut, almost see through and dissolve in your mouth, these crisps are a substantial one - not too thick and not too thin. They won't leave your hands really greasy either.
Another great thing about them is their unique packaging. The tins/tubes are instantly recognisable on the shelf and so much better than packets. They have a lid which keeps them fresh - you don't have to eat them all in one go (although I bet you do haha!). They are perfectly stacked due to their shape and although you will find some broken and smashed ones (nearer the bottom in particular) I find that compared to a bag of crisps, you get less broken ones. When I have a bag of crisps I usually find they're in smithereens. Pringles also do mini 'one portion' tubes that are your 'single bag' equivalent. I think this is a great idea and you can pop them in your handbag much more safely than a normal bag of crisps.
I like to have Pringles with dips too. They make a great scooper! Along with carrot and celery sticks, bread sticks etc, I also have Pringles!
The drawback to these crisps is the price. They are more expensive than your average crisps. For example, in Tesco and Sainsburys they usually cost £145 for the large 155g tube. However, you will find them in offers from time to time. As well as the price, they are also quite high in calories which might put a lot of people off them. Some of the ingredients probably mean that people with certain allergies/intolerances won't want to eat them either. Oh and although I struggle to stop eating them once I've started, this flavour does leave me feeling a bit queasy if I eat too many...!
Nutritional Info for 100g of Pringles Sour Cream & Onion crisps.
Dehydrated potatoes, vegetable oil, corn flour, prawn cocktail flavour (sugar, acidity regulator: sodium diacetate, taste enhancer: monosodium glutamate, tomato powder, milk powder, food acid: citric acid, onion powder, yeast extract, flavourings, lactose, milk proteins, colour: paprika extract, potassium chloride), wheat starch, maltodextrin, emulsifier:E471, rice flour, salt, dextrose.
We recently acquired a 2 litre bottle of Diet Coke with Citrus Zest from a family member who had bought on offer in Asda. Apparently it is usually priced at £1.56 but in this offer you can get 3 bottles of pop for £3.50.
Anyway, on seeing them about to throw this out because it was 'foul', I said 'waste not want not, give it to me!'.
Now, I'm not a big fizzy drink person, in fact I try to avoid them. Occasionally though, particularly when eating out or something, I just fancy one. It's no doubt the caffeine and sugar in Coke, but it gives you that energy lift and I find can be very more-ish! Especially with ice on a warm day!
Anyway, I know Diet Coke is meant to be better for you and it is sugar free, but I think it just lacks that kick that Coke gives because of this.
I usually love citrus flavoured things and so thought I might actually disagree with the 'foul' verdict. Unfortunately, although I wouldn't class as foul, it certainly doesn't hit the mark for me. I felt it was a letdown and the 'thing' in coke that makes me want another glass, was missing in this drink. I couldn't really taste the supposed citrus zest and what I could taste of it, I didn't really like. In my view it actually ruined it!
Now, health wise, this Citrus Zest is 'healthier' than your standard Coca Cola. In fact, it is alarmingly so! I was quite shocked when I investigated and realised that a 100ml serving of original Coca Cola has 42kCals and 10.6g of sugar, compared to a 100ml serving of Citrus Zest variety which has 1kCal and 0g of sugar.
I am all for the healthiest alternatives and usually always go for them, but I still would not buy this again because I feel the taste has really been compromised because of it. The Citrus Zest is a big letdown; it left me feeling like I needed to drink something else straight after it. You can taste what I guess is meant to be the Citrus Zest, but unless it's just my taste buds, it's not recognisable as citrus to me!
Post Pals is an organisation that was set up to create smiles for children who suffer from life threatening and long term illnesses. They ask people to log on to send the children featured on the website 'happy post'. When a child is very ill, often a visit from the postman can make their day. A cheery card or letter can make them feel less alone and bring welcome distraction from what they go through each day.
Each child (or 'Pal') has their own page that tells you a bit about them and features updates from their parent/guardian so you can follow their stories. Post Pals not only supports the poorly child but their family too. People often forget that illness and disability doesn't just affect the child, but has an impact on their siblings' lives and the lives of their parents as well, so if you choose to you can include the child's siblings when sending a card.
The reason for me writing about Post Pals on dooyoo is that I volunteer for them and so I know firsthand what an amazing job they do. They offer so much support and encouragement to children who really need it and give members of the public the chance to do the same. It's really rewarding knowing you are making a difference. It is such a simple concept and yet you are helping to bring a little bit of sunshine into the lives of children who really need it.
I know what a kind email or card or letter can mean to these children. When a child's page is updated and you hear how the child's hospital stay was brightened by post they received wishing them well. Or how knowing someone was thinking of them helped them get through awful treatment. Or just how knowing someone cared enough to say hello was enough to give them courage that day.
To find out more about Post Pals, please log on to www.postpals.co.uk and have a look around the website. You can see the difference happy post can make for yourself, as there is a great video you can watch which is linked to on their homepage.
In short, all you have to do to send a card to a child and brighten their day, is follow the 5 easy steps on the home page.
It really is that simple!
The guinea pig is a popular family pet but how much do you know about them and have you ever owned one?
They are also known as cavies and originate from the Andes, although many people assume they come from New Guinea. They aren't related to pigs either - they're actually classed as a species of rodent. One of the reasons the name 'guinea pig' came about was because they were human's choice of test subject before we moved on to using mice and rats for experiments. You may also not know that in parts of South America guinea pigs are a source of food for many people. A family friend of ours went to Peru and was served guinea pig for her evening meal!
For most of us, the guinea pig is a common and ideal pet and many families first choice for their children as they are sociable, friendly, enjoy being handled and are easy to care for.
The average life span of a guinea pig is around 4 years but they can live longer if they are housed inside. Their favourite foods are grass and hay (they will eat it all day long if they can!) and a wide range of vegetables and salad item including; carrots, broccoli, celery, cucumber, apple, and lettuce (although they should not have too much lettuce as it isn't good for them). It is important for them to be given a dry mix food too for supplements and treat sticks can also be given which usually contain various seeds. They also love dandelion leaves and other plants, but again, some can be poisonous. They drink water and a plentiful supply should always be available for them, either by bowl or bottle.
Guinea pigs like company, it is best to have at least 2 so they have a playmate. Although obviously be careful keeping males and females together unless neutered! A guinea pig pregnancy last from 59-72 days and the size of the litter can be 1-6 babies, so you could easily have a lot of babies on your hands! Pregnancy can also be fatal for the mother - 1 in 5 pregnancies usually result in her dying. I would also advise to be careful when introducing males to each other as they can fight for dominance and it will often result in one piggy losing a bit of their ear! If keeping males together, it is ideal if they are brothers or have known each other since birth, but it all depends on the individual guinea as sometimes they can be fine.
You need to make sure you have an adequate size cage for these little guys as they love to run around and explore. You can buy toys for them to put in the cage, but they are often more than happy when given a cardboard tube to run through and hide in! They like to have a place to shelter/hide where they usually run to if scared by something and you will probably find they like to sleep in this too. My own guinea pig used to have a plastic 'igloo' bought from Pets At Home and he would wander into there at night and not come out until morning! When he went in there you knew he had settled down for the night!
How often you clean the cage depends on the number of guinea pigs in there and the amount they go to the toilet! My third guinea pig did an awful lot of number 2's! The poo doesn't actually smell though and isn't unpleasant - it is a little pellet that can easily be swept out of the cage. My first pair of guinea pigs only needed cleaning about once a week but the piggy I just mentioned needed doing every other day. Most people use newspaper to line the cage, and then add sawdust/shavings on top, followed by hay. They also love to be on grass and most people buy a 'run' like you would do for a rabbit, which can be put on the lawn in summer. My piggies spent many happy hours outside in their run! They will enjoy lazing in the sunshine, but make sure they always have a sheltered area and water, as guinea pigs can die of heat exhaustion. This is because they can only sweat through the pads of their feet.
You can buy guinea pigs from most pet shops these days and you can also find 'breeders' in your local area. My local garden centre has a pet section and even sells them! My tips would be that when you choose your guinea pig, check their eyes and make sure they look healthy and aren't cloudy as sometimes bad breeding can leave piggies with bad eye sight. I would also check their teeth to make sure they aren't overgrown (more for if you are buying an older piggy). Check their hair to make sure there are no mites as unfortunately if not looked after properly they can sometimes get these or they can be born with problems if the mother had them. If buying a baby, make sure they are at least 6 weeks old, as they shouldn't really be taken from their mother before then. I bought my first pair of guinea pigs from a local breeder and my third from Pets At Home. If I got another I'd certainly look at rescuing one from a rescue centre as there are so many in need of good homes.
There are so many different breeds of guinea pig now. There are short haired and long haired varieties, rough coats and smooth coats. Within these varieties there are different colours, markings, cross breeds, you name it! Short haired breeds are more common for first time owners as they are easier to keep and most pet stores only sell short haired. For a long haired guinea pig you would probably have to go to a specific breeder. The different breeds of guinea pig can be found online and I won't list and describe them all as there are far too many! I have owned Dutch guinea pigs which are usually white and one other colour and quite large. I have also owned a Golden Agouti and I think the Agouti breed has the prettiest face of them all!
In my opinion, guinea pigs are the perfect pet. I absolutely love them! They are so friendly and love to 'chat' with you. They make a squeaking sound to communicate and you quickly learn the difference in tone/volume etc for their different needs. For example, when having a cuddle they will often make a happy, chatty squeak. When comfy and content they will make a lower almost purring sound. When hungry they will make a few loud deafening squeaks! When they want your attention they will make fast loud squeaks. My last guinea pig lived in our hallway and as soon as he heard your door open upstairs on a morning, he would start squeaking to say hello and please come see me! He also became very clever and squeaked whenever he heard the fridge door open...!
As I've said, they love to be cuddled and in my opinion put up with being handled by kids much better than rabbits do. When you first get your piggy though they may be shy and not used to being handled yet. They may run around the cage when you try to pick them up, but don't worry about this, it's normal. With regular handling and cuddles, they soon learn to let you pick them up and will sit happily on your lap or in your arms. Once they are used to it they are fine and will love you back as much as you love them!
I love watching films, but there are not many that i enjoy enough to watch over and over again. The Reader proved to be one of them. I first sat down to watch with my mum and a few days later i watched again with my boyfriend. I have since watched it again on my own.
The Reader's main stars are Kate Winslet (who won a well deserved Oscar for her performance), Ralph Fiennes and David Kross. I had not seen David Kross in anything before and his performance was stunning. I shall be looking out for him in other films now.
The film is adapted from the novel of the same name written by Bernhard Schlink. I am often wary of films based on books as it is not many (in my opinion) that live up to the book. However, i don't think it's so with this film.
The story begins in 1950's Germany but develops through to the present day and is told through flashbacks. I did find i had to keep my eye on the screen and remember what year particular scenes were from in order to keep track, but that may just be me!
This film is a love story between Michael and Hanna, two people you wouldn't expect. It is told from the character Michael's perspective and Kross plays him in his younger years, with Fiennes playing the role during his older years. Winslet was able to play the role of both young and old Hanna through the use of prosthetics and they did a fantastic job.
Michael is the 15 year old boy who falls in love with the older Hanna, who has secrets she won't share. These secrets are the other main themes of this film. They bring in to play the Holocaust and the film takes on another angle. As the film goes on, we discover Hanna has committed terrible crimes during the war.
I think this film is beautifully shot, the performances are faultless and it is very thought provoking. I challenge you to watch this film without shedding a tear and be left thinking about the issues it raises for days after. It is not just a love story - it is a film that reminds us of the horrendous things that have happened in our lifetime and importantly, that it can't be forgotten. It's a story about a boy who fell in love with a woman who did things he can't come to terms with and the rest of his life is affected because of it. A story about a boy who never completely moves on from the summer he spent with Hanna when he was just 15.
This film doesn't have a happy ever after ending that you get up from the sofa without thinking any more about. I like that about this film. It is moving, inspiring, intelligent, and just such a genius idea of a storyline. I don't know another film like it.
It's one of those films that SHOULD see. The topics raised aren't exactly ones you chat about over the tea table with the kids, but i think it's a definite must. It's not always 'comfortable' to watch at times, but i still recommend watching it.
Extra details: Run Time 119 minutes and currently priced at £6.98 on Amazon.
If you have read my review on Copic markers, then Letraset Promarkers fall in to the same category. Copics and Promarkers are the 2 most popular brands of marker pen in the papercrafting world right now.
Chances are you are either a Copic fan or a Promarker fan. I happen to be both! Like Copics, Promarkers are alcohol based inks. This means that if you're using them to colour in your rubber stamped images, you need to stamp using dye based ink pads (ideal range is Tsukineko Memento) so the image won't 'bleed' when it comes into contact with the markers. Promarkers are also dual tipped - one bullet tip for larger strokes and one chisel tip for finer detail. I tend to just use the chisel tip for colouring my images. Promarkers give you 'streak free' colouring (just like Copic) and that's one of their big plus points too.
There are 92 colours in the Promarker range. They create a really smooth effect and the colours have a more 'transparent' look to them than the rich and heavy Copics. I like how they create a 'softer' look to my images. Like Copics, i recommend buying more than one shade in each colour family so that you can 'layer' your colours to make your images looks more 3 dimensional. For example, i buy 3 colours in the same family - a light blue, blue and a darker blue.
Here are the advantages of Promarkers over Copic markers in my opinion.
1) They are cheaper. If you buy your Promarkers online you will pay between £1.59 (the cheapest i have found) and £1.99 per pen. Copics are priced at £2 and you won't find them cheaper.
2) More control. I find that the chisel nib on the Promarker is stronger and harder which gives more control when colouring small details and areas. This is a big plus for me.
3) The colour doesn't 'run' as much as Copics can do and doesn't soak through my card as much.
Disadvantages to Copics:
1) More limited range of colours. There are only 92 colours in the Promarker range and a blender pen.
2) They are not refillable like Copics.
3) Compared to Copics, i find they don't colour on as big a range of surfaces.
At the end of the day i think it's down to personal choice. They are both great ranges of marker pens and i have personally bought many from both ranges. If i HAD to make a choice though, i think overall i would say i prefer Copic markers. To me, they're just worth that little bit extra they cost.
Copic is a brand of marker pen made in Japan by Too and they are used by many Manga artists. They are alcohol based, low odour, dry quickly, and create vibrant, solid blocks of colour. The amazing thing about these markers is that they colour 'flawlessly' - you won't see any pen strokes and lines in the area you colour.
There are 3 ranges of Copic pens - the original marker, the Sketch marker and the Ciao marker. The Ciao range is the least expensive at around £2 per pen when bought individually. There are 143 colours in the Ciao range and 1 colourless blender pen. You can buy from many online stores and they are usually sold in packs of 5, 12, 36 and there are 2 packs of 72 available (these 2 packs of 72 will give you the entire range). To buy a pack of 72 it will set you back around £115-£130 depending on which shop you buy from, so i recommend shopping around for the best price. If all 144 markers are bought individually it will cost you around £288 which is a frightening amount when put like that, but buying one at a time means you can pick the exact colours you want.
Copic markers can be used on many surfaces including paper, leather, wood, fabrics, plastic, and many more. However the papercrafting world has caught on to them and they are now very popular amongst cardmakers and scrapbookers. They can be used to colour in rubber stamped images and the results are amazing. Because they are alcohol based markers, you will need to use a dye based ink pad to stamp your image to be coloured or the image will 'bleed' and run when the marker ink comes in to contact with it. The best range of ink pads to use is Tsukineko Memento. You will also find that Copics will soak through very thin card and so i recommend using either a Copic marker pad that can be bought seperately, or fairly thick card.
Copics can be used in singular blocks of colour to create striking results and they can also be blended to create a more 3D effect to your image. Having the colourless blender pen comes in handy for this as it lightens the areas you use it on and you can therefore create shading with it. I would also recommend buying 2 or 3 shades of the same colour - e.g. a light pink, pink, darker pink. You can then 'layer' the colours to add dimension and is a technique i like to use.
Although they seem expensive, these pens are a great investment. They are refillable so you never have to throw a pen away and buy another, you just replace the ink. The pens are dual ended (one broad tip for large brush strokes and one chisel tip for detailed colouring) and tips are also replaceable if you should ever need to change one. This makes them environmentally friendly too!
I love how these pens make the images on the cards i make really stand out. They have a really professional look and make me look like i'm skilled, which i'm certainly not! They are so easy to use and compared to other mediums like watercolours, i find that i can colour an image much quicker with them. The other things i LOVE about these markers is that i can colour coordinate all the other embellishments on my card with my image if i choose. I use them to colour paper flowers and they will even colour brads, buttons, peel off stickers and ribbon to name just a few!
Ok, if you're a crafter then you will LOVE this glue! It can be used on a variety of different materials (see list below) and is therefore a useful glue to use all around the home, but what i bought it for was to use on my paper crafting projects. I bought my kit from Create and Craft Tv but it can be bought from other online stores too. I paid £12.75 which i think is very reasonable for the amount of use it is to me.
If you want to add dimension to your homemade cards or scrapbook pages, then one of the most popular ways to do this is to use silicone glue. It is different to normal glue in that it is thicker and if applied in the right way, will 'raise' whatever you are putting it on the back of from the base of the card. In other words, it makes things look '3D'. It is particularly great for 'decoupage' and dries clear which is a big advantage over foam pads that can sometimes be seen from the sides.
Through experience, i have found 3 big problems with silicone glue. One is that it absolutely stinks! I am sensitive to smells - i find using silicone glue unpleasant because the smell gives me a headache. Two - i have sensitive skin and it makes my fingers itch if i get it on them because silicone can be an irritant. The third problem is that silicone glue doesn't have a very long life - if you don't use the whole tube quickly, you will end up wasting it because it dries solid. I wasted 3 tubes this way!
I then discovered Pinflair glue! This product seemed more expensive than silicone and i wasn't sure whether to buy at first. I'm very glad i did though. In my opinion this product does just the same job as silicone glue, but better! The best things about it? It's ODOURLESS! This glue not give me a headache and it doesn't irritate my skin because it's SILLICONE FREE! It also has a much LONGER LIFE and doesn't dry up in the tube!
Now i want to tell you why buying the Pinflair glue gel KIT is a must for your first time buy. It's because not only does it include 2 tubes of glue, but it also includes 2 syringes, removable nozzle cap and a metal tube squeezer key. Here is the genius thing about Pinflair glue compared to silicone. With silicon, you open the tube and then the tube dries up. With Pinflair, you put the key on the end of the tube (instructions included) and turn it to squeeze glue out of the tube into the syringe. You then apply glue to you projects from the syringe! This means you have more control over application on your projects. The glue in the syringe can also be stored in there for 2 months before it starts to dry up, which is longer than silicone! If for some reason you don't manage to use up the amount in the syringe in 2 months, then at least you haven't wasted the whole tube of glue - only the amount you put in the syringe!
I'm really glad i found out about this glue and i use it for all my paper crafting now. I stick down buttons, sparkly gems, ribbon, and much more using it! It is so STRONG - it will glue wood and metal too and i no longer need any other kind of glue, because this one sticks everything. It is so simple to use and easy to wash off your hands if you're messy like me! I would recommend this glue to all crafters and individual tubes can also be bought from a lot of craft shops online. I've never had a problem with it and it's well worth buying!
2 x 80 ml tubes Transparent Glue Gel:
* Silicone free
* Dries crystal clear
* Easy to use
* Touch-dry in one hour
* Permanent dry in 24 hours
Can be used on:
* Various metals
2 x 10 ml Syringes:
* Clear strong see-through plastic tube with strong white plastic plunger
* Graded down the side from 1ml to 10 mls in 1/4ml increments
* Yellow removable nozzle cap
* Glue can be stored in the syringe for up to two months
* 1 x Silver Metal Tube squeezer key
* 1 x A6 Sheet instructions
Docrafts Creativity magazine is a must have if you are a cardmaker or scrapbooker.
Docrafts is a major brand in the crafting world that makes a whole host of products, from stickers, to card blanks, to craft tools etc. It also makes a magazine that is one of, if not the best priced craft magazine of its kind around today. There is a new issue every other month and it is priced at only £1. When you consider other well known popular craft/card making magazines sell at around the £3.75 mark, this is outstanding value. Each issue also comes with some sort of a free gift - whether this is a sheet of stickers, a rubber stamp, or some ribbon. The free gift changes each time and in my opinion makes this magazine even more worth buying. I've yet to receive a free gift on an issue that I haven't wanted or been able to use and they always include ideas in the magazine of what you can make with them. Occasionally, they will release a 'bumper' issue which has about 3 times as many pages as a standard issue and a higher quality free gift. This is usually priced at £2.50 which is still an amazing price. The magazine itself is bright, colourful and easy to read. I love that they always give card ideas and clearly show you how to reproduce them yourself, step by step, and include all the materials that have been used, their prices, and where you can buy them. They feature a lot of new products to the market, telling you what the latest trends are and must haves. They have reader's pages where you can see other peoples cards they've sent it or even see your own published! There are prize draws to win craft products, interviews with people from the 'craft world', a puzzles page, a very useful craft companies index, and so much inspiration for making cards for all occasions. Certain months of the year the magazine tends to have sections that focus on certain events - for example, November's issue would feature a lot of articles on Christmas cards, and the month before Easter would see ideas for spring and Easter cards.
I buy quite a few craft magazines and it is my favourite of them all. I cannot understand how they manage to price it so low but am very glad that they do! It has a very friendly feel and online you will find a Docrafts forum where you can meet other readers. They cover all ranges of ability - there are 'easy' makes and then card ideas for more advanced readers to tackle. I look forward to getting my issue every time and I know I will always learn something new or see new products I want to buy and try out myself. I keep my back issues and I often pick them up again months later and see something I didn't get round to trying that I then attempt doing. I think that if you are new to crafting then this is one of the best magazines you can get to start you off and if you are a seasoned crafter, then the chances are you already buy this! ;o)
The downside to this magazine is that it is not available everywhere. If you go to your supermarket and look at the craft magazine section, it won't be there. It is only available in craft shops and if you don't have a local one of those, you have to get it online. This of course means you have to pay P&P charges which are annoying when the magazine itself is such a good price. Unless... you are like me and buy from an online store that offers free P&P!! This is hard to find because most insist on a minimum order of £5 to qualify for free shipping. I usually combine buying my magazine with stocking up on other goodies too and so go over the £5 mark. Sometimes though, this isn't always the case and I buy from an online store that offers free P&P with no minimum spend. There are sites like this around and I can always be messaged if you want to know more on this.