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4.10.2009

Blender Pens


{Reported by Brandi Wiggins-Côté}What is it: Blender pens and I have a love hate relationship. When I first bought some and tried using them, I cursed a blue streak. I’ve since learned to hate them less but can’t say that I totally love them. Blender pens are a nifty little product. It’s double tipped pen that has a “blending liquid” in it. For the life of me, I tried to find out what this “blending liquid” is and was unable to come up with the info. The ones I have are from Stampin’ Up! (Go figure, right?) but I’ve found a couple other brands on the internet.

There’s the blender pen from Chartpak that’s used for transferring images when doing collage. Apparently it contains Xylene which is a really smelly chemical. Blech. Smelly chemicals are bad. So I went a lookin’ for another brand of pen. I’m glad I did because I stumbled upon something that I didn’t know existed! The Dove Blender. This is a nifty REFILLABLE blender pen. Not just refillable liquid but replaceable nibs! The ones from SU! Come in a pack of three. Initially, I figured I could just buy a pack and split them with three friends. I did it once and won’t do it again. I go through these bad boys fairly quickly so I like to have the extras on hand.

Supplies: Blender pens (SU), Cardstock- (SU), stamps- A Good Egg (SU) stickles, scallop circle Bigz die (Sizzix), Stampin' Up! tags sizzlets die (Sizzix), ribbon (SU), brads (SU), my awesome sewing machine.

You can use them with inks, chalks, watercolour pencils and watercolours. Pull the blender pen over the chosen medium and apply the tip to the paper. I like to use small circular motions to apply the color. When you’re done or you want to change to a different color, simply scribble the tip on a piece of scratch paper and voilà! It’s clean. There may be some discoloration on the tip of the pen but it doesn’t affect it use.

Supplies: blender pens (SU), Cardstock (SU), patterned paper (Basic Grey), water color paper (SU) stamps- Family Wheel and En Oval (SU), scallop border and scallop oval punches (SU), ribbon (SU), my awesome sewing machine.

There’s a learning curve to using them and that’s where my cursing a blue streak came in. If you pass over the same spot on your paper too many times, the paper gets saturated with the mysterious “blending liquid” and it makes the paper pill. I’ve ruined more than one image doing this. It helps when you use a better quality paper or even a watercolour paper. It also helps when it’s a newer pen. Once the liquid starts to run out, you have to work harder at making a nice looking blend which leads to more pilling if you’re not careful. I always feel a little guilty when I pitch one in the trash after it’s been used up. I think that’s why I’d like to try one of the Dove Blenders. The refillable aspect would make me feel like I’m not single handedly ruining the environment. It would also cut down on the cost.


What I like:
- I love the effect of a well blended image so this is the tool for me...when I have the patience.
- I like that the SU! Ones come in a pack of three so I always have extras on hand.
- They’re inexpensive.


What I dislike:
- They’re not the easiest tool to use.
- I find they run out quickly and need to be replaced often.
- I really wish they were refillable so I don’t feel like an environmental killer.


Supplies: Blender pens (SU), Cardstock (SU), patterned paper (Cosmo Cricket, Scenic Route), stamps-Doodle This (SU), jewels (Doodle Bug Designs), chipboard (Fancy Pants), lettering (Thickers), Top Note Bigz Die (SU), black journaling marker (unknown)



Product Name: Blender Pens
Manufacturer: Stampin' Up-www.stampinup.com
MSRP: $12.50 for 3 crayons


What do YOU think? : Have you used a blender pen? Do you find it difficult? Does anybody out there have the Dove Blender? I’d love to hear about it! Let me know what’s up, homeslice.

.

31 comments:

Tara said...

I really like Stampin Up's blender pens. I rub them across an ink pad or in a little pool of in on the top of the ink pad to add some color to a project.

Nancy Nally said...

I get a watercolor effect when I want one by using watercolor *crayons* (available from Stampin Up and also in art stores) and a paintbrush and water. No chemicals, environmentally friendly to dispose of, and coloring with the crayons and then painting over them with water is easy and makes me feel like a kid again!

Amy said...

I think the mysterious liquid contains glycerin! LOL When I first started stamping, blender pens were my go-to tool! They still get a fair amount of use in my craft room. If you use them on watercolor paper, you won't get the pilling problem.

Great article, Brandi! I need to add a pack of blender pens to my next order . . . LOL

Rebecca said...

I've used them a few times but just don't care for them (for some of the reasons in the article). They really don't suit my style, but those flowers are cute!

NanaBeth said...

I like my Dove-but like you many "blue" moments. I am so glad to find I am not alone. I frequently feel like the "compleat" crafting idiot. I think you should do a monthly "I totally screwed it up" article. Now you know I don't mean just you-some place we could all comment our best worst moments.
It would go a long way to bolstering my creative courage.

Nathalie said...

I see another commenter has talked about watercolor pencils and water. That is also what I have (notice I didn't say use, because I rarely do it!)... Is there much of a difference?

marla said...

I find the blender pens hard to use also. I was feeing discouraged because my tips were all discolored. I was glad to read that it does not affect the performance of them. I will have to get these out and try them again. Thanks for the encouragement.

Ann(i)e Hafermann said...

i would be cursing right along with you...but man, they sure look gorgeous!!
xo

Penny Smith said...

There is a refillable-we sell the tips and the refill at our store. :) I gave up SU blender pens when I found these.
But now that I found the Sukura water pens, I rarely reach for the blending pen either!
http://www.sakuraofamerica.com/Watercolors-Brush

Aimee said...

Great article. I've never used but always wondered...

StampingJan said...

I use a solution of 1 oz. glycerin,2 oz. distilled water and 3/4 teaspoon rubbing alcohol.
I pull out the nibs (one at a time) and try to get a few drops into the barrel of the pen. I'll soak the nibs with a few drops too and then put it back together. I do this to my SU blender pens and I find that they last a very long time. I hope this helps someone!

Stephanie said...

I have some blender pens that I purchased from SugarLoaf quite awhile ago and they work great! I don't use them that often, but when I do I love the effect every time. I have also tried using a paintbrush dipped in water with watercolor pencils and that works great too!

Kelli said...

Yes, I've used blender pens, if you really like to color but don't want to take the time they are a fab tool, but I found the learning curve to be to tedious for me. I also had a hard time knowing when the pen ran out. The refill concept would sure make that nicer.

Rhayne said...

I don't have any but love what you've done with them. Funny thing... I live in a town of about 150 people and the only business in our little town is Chartpak. They're just about 100 yards up the road from my house. I've never gotten anything from them and hearing they use unfriendly products I doubt I will.

Thanks for the review :o)

Sharon Bridwell said...

Good insights Brandi. I too have a love/hate relationship with my blender pens...I do however love using them with my pastels!!

Anonymous said...

I use Stampin Up! blender pens and love them. Actually I've never found them to be difficult, just use with watercolor pencils on my stamped images. I love how it makes the stamp become alive and also personalized, especially on people stamps. I have never used the Dove Blender pen.

Anonymous said...

I believe there is a thread on SCS about refilling SU blender pens- so check that out before you chuck yours! I don't use mine very often as I love so many other different types of colouring. I find I only use them when I need a marker for one of the "in colours" inks!
Great review though!
Diane Cooper
diane7@rogers.com

JennV said...

The page with the flowers looks really great! I have never heard of these blender pens and am still a little confused on what they are. They look neat though and I would be willing to try them!

Rebecca W said...

I have used the blending pens- but I haven't actually tried blending with them just using it for coloring with ink pads. I didn't find it too hard but my mom whose pens I was using already knew what to do and was showing me. I used the ones from stamping up and they are on my sometime wish list.

Kim said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kim said...

Try this again it didn't post everything.
Love your review Brandi. I use my blender pens a lot. Love them. I posted a thread with recipes at Stampin' Addicts.

http://www.stampinaddicts.com/forums/stampin-tips-tricks-techniques/561-blender-pen-refill.html

kgscrapper said...

I love the look I get from my SU blender pens. I do sometimes have trouble with pilling. I will have to try water colorpaper.

Ravengirl said...

I do like my blender pens! Lots!!! I know what you mean about the paper pilling and how that can ruin an image in a hurry. I will have to check into the Dove blender pens that are refillable with replaceable nibs. That would be heaven!

Veronica said...

I have to say they have "intrigued" me, but I have not had the chance to use them! After reading your post, going to find a SU Rep! Thanks!

Sara said...

I go through stages with my blender pens....right now I am in a HATE spot with them. I can't stand to use them. But, part of it is that I think I need new ones. And they need new tips.... Great review Brandi!

Erica T in Ohio said...

I also like the Stampin Up blender pens. How much I use them depends on what type of scrapping I am mostly doing. When I made tons of cards I colored images more and used blender pens a lot. Now I scrap book exclusively and find myself coloring less and less, more die cutting.

Sandra-Lee said...

Nice review Brandie!

lindiloo said...

I do have the SU blender pens; and use them on cardstock but I prefer SU Aqua Painter (put water in the small tank and paint for hours) this is great when combined with water colour paper but does not work on cardstock (pills) I usually use either pools of paint or the ink pad lids - aqua painter the best for water colour - breat with crayons as well!
Linda Anderson

Angie said...

Great Review Brandi! I love my blender pens, especially with the Stampin Pastels and the Watercolor Pencils!
Never tried the refill trick, I have many "dry" ones in my pen drawer, need to get them out and see if it works!

Paula said...

Fabulous review Ms. Wiggins. I do like my blenders, but I find I reach for my food processor, I mean my aqua painters more. :)

Anonymous said...

I just found out about the home made refill for blender pens,
you need 2 teaspoons of glycerin, 4 teaspoons of distilled water, ( cannot be normal water) and 1/4 of a teaspoon of rubbing alcohol, mix it together and soak the spongy insert of the pen overnight for best result.
Martha