It's about exploring and sharing my creative adventures (mostly sewing these days) ~
~those activities that sometimes obsess, usually inspire, occasionally frustrate
~and always provide a delightful maze to wander through.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

My New Favorite Tool is a Pencil Sharpener!!!

I blame it on the moulage.   Drafting a moulage eats up pencils; trust me on this!   The good news is my local sewing BABES all got together in a camaraderie of measuring and support, and while we were at our fearless leader Georgene's studio,  (using Kenneth King's Moulage book), I used her handy dandy professional grade electric pencil sharpener.

The bad news is that my crappy little hold-between-two-fingers sharpener had gone missing, and it was high time I had something that actually worked.   In my lifetime, I've used everything from a pocket knife to an industrial grade electric sharpener, and I thought what I wanted for home use was a nice little electric sharpener that did the job, and did the job well.   Easy to find, one would think, yes?

No.

Not according to all of the reviews I researched...and I even visited office supply stores!  And I did NOT want to pay $50 for something that had mixed reviews, especially when most of the reviews were WAY less than positive.

And then I found this little puppy:
This is the "Groovy Green" version of the "Quietest Classroom Pencil Sharpener" from  Classroom Friendly Supplies.   Great reviews across the board!  It's available in "groovy green" (which is a bit more of a true green than my pictures indicate), "firehouse red", "cool blue" and "midnight black".  It was a hard choice, but groovy green won out (who can resist something groovy, after all?)

It arrived today - who knew I could be so excited about a pencil sharpener arriving??  I'm sorry that the only ones home to share my enthusiasm were my cats, and they didn't really get it, so I'll share with you instead.

Points!!!  Pencil points!!!  SHARP pencil points!!!!
Before:
and After:

I mean, we are talking REALLY long, sharp points.  I don't think my picture does the length of these points justice.   Awesomeness in a pencil point.

You can clamp this sharpener on to a desk or shelf, but this isn't really necessary, because there is a clamping mechanism that holds the pencil steady and feeds it in to the sharpening gears, so you can hold on to the sharpener while you crank the handle.   The clamping mechanism feeds the pencil in, and when it's done, it's done.  No over-sharpening and waste.   More awesomeness!

Here's a pencil as you place it into the clamp, which is fully extended.
(Note the desk clamp lying underneath the pencil - I may find a permanent home for the sharpener in the sewing room, but leaving it portable is a pretty nice option) 

The clamp moves in to the sharpener as you crank the handle and the pencil gets sharpened.
And don't you love the fact that there is no confusion about what it is - 
the red label on top declares to the world that this little guy is proud of what he is!

Other points [koffkoff, get it?]:
  • The body and most of the parts are metal, with only a few plastic parts, including the shavings holder, the "ears" on the clamps, and a couple of the handle parts.
  • The Blade, the shavings holder, and the desk clamp are all available as replacement parts.
  • If you're a teacher or someone else who needs a large quantity, discounts are available (starting at packs of 3)
  • Some reviewers had minor quibbles about the fact that the clamp leaves a couple of teeny tiny bites in the pencil side, but seriously?   It's a PENCIL!  They get "bite marks"!
  • It works well on a variety of pencil sizes - the skinniest and fattest pencils in my stash were all sharpened equally well.
  • No electricity needed!
  • It's just so darned cute!

Front View:

Side View:

And the moulage project that started it all:

Sharp pencil, anyone?


Two thumbs up!  

I think that the only place to order them is at the Classroom Friendly website, at a cost of $24.95 (free shipping).   I found some for sale at Amazon, (cheaper), but they appear to be a cheaper knockoff, so caveat emptor - look closely at the details and you can see the difference.

(Note:  I'll do a blog post about the moulage process if-I-mean-WHEN I finish - now that I have SHARP pencils I'm ready to have another go at it)  :)

25 comments:

  1. So. Cute.!!!

    I love pencils. Love them. Especially good one...like Ticonderoga Blacks. Ahhhhh.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm SO with you on that! Especially the Ticonderoga Blacks :)

      Delete
  2. Jilly I really hope you post about your experiences with the Kenneth D King moulage. I have also bought the book and am currently searching for a local (Perth, Australia) sewing enthusiast that can help me with taking measurements. Any takers?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I will do a post; thanks for the encouragement! :) I should be making notes along the way - I may forget some of the more traumatic experiences otherwise lol!

      Delete
  3. Jilly, this is the most fun review I've read in a good long time. I do love supplies, that's for sure. How would you compare these "sharpenable" pencils to mechanical lead pencils (the kind I usually use)? And yes, it's very cute!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sandra, I just can't seem to get the knack of mechanical pencils without continually breaking them. I feel like I have to use such a delicate hand! They're OK for numbers, checkbook balancing & such (yes, I still do that the old-fashioned way), but for tracing patterns I MUCH prefer a "real" pencil - and these points really seem to hold up well!

      Delete
  4. Congrats on the beautiful pencil sharpener. Sometimes we do have to step out of the box. I inherited Pat's electric pencil sharpener from his desk at the Mail House and I have to say it is a handy dandy thing to have around. Much nicer sharpening than the grade schooler's version. For a girl who has never owned an electric can opener, this is a pretty big deal.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If I inherited a nice sharpener like that I'm sure I'd be happy....but it can't possibly look as cool as Mr. Groovy Green, right? ;-D

      Delete
  5. yum yum great tip Jilly! i love sharp pencil points as well, usually i just use one of those little metal ones like they made us use in art class - this one looks sweeeet! TY!

    and good for you with the moulage - any pain will be so worth it :) hang in there and have fun! stpeh

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know it will be worth it in the end! I would never ever get through it without lots of helpful buddies though!

      Delete
  6. I love gadgets. I finally broke down and bought an electric sharpener a few years ago but it didn't last long before it started acting like it was plugged up somehow. Careful inspection revealed nothing, though, so I had to give up on it. I love the look of yours. I want to find one equally cute but that makes a shorter, but almost equally sharp, point. I tend to be too ham-handed or something, because the long slender points break on me. Lisa of BABES

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lisa I destroy mechanical pencil points by looking at them. I've been testing these out - and I have a full range of quality in pencils here - and so far even heavy pushing hasn't broken a single lead! I don't know what the magical equation is, but this sharpener really works!

      I'll bring it to the next moulage get-together - bring some dull points with you and you can test it out! :)

      Delete
  7. I can't stand dull pencils, so I switched to mechanical ones years ago. The cheap ones seem to last longest.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hate dull points too. But even worse are points that break! Sounds like you have better luck with mechanicals than I!

      Delete
  8. OK, sold! I'm off to order one right now. Thanks for sharing -- great stuff.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Jilly, you crack me up! I think that you were a teacher in a previous life. Most teachers I know have a passion for Office Supply stores and stationery shops! I guess that's why my moulage is in blue colored pencil.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah, but aren't we all teachers and students? ;-) Now that I have sharp pencils I may finish my moulage in multi-colors lol!

      Delete
  10. I have been wanting a good pencil sharpener for soooo long. I too couldn't get myself to spend $$ on one with such bad reviews. I will have to check this one out!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I sense a Quietest Classroom Pencil Sharpener in your future..... ;-)

      Delete
  11. Like you I have trouble with mechanical pencils. I have one of those old-fashioned grey hand-wound sharpeners like we used to use in school in the 1950's. Holds different pencil sizes and works just fine for me! Nifty one you found though.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Finally broke down and bought an electric one a few years back for all my pattern making days...mechanical pencils are just not tough enough! Nothing feels as sturdy as a wooden pencil and my sharpener has a stopping point where it knows when the point is long and sharp enough...how do they do that? Love your quiet one and knowing it comes in a rainbow of colors is just so darn cute! Thanks for sharing your delightful experience and I look forward to seeing more of your Moulage. I have his CD's as well and need a kick start.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I an anxiously awaiting your post about moulage, anxiously! I love good pencils, pens, and stationary. Yes, I know, old school. Finding a good pencil sharpener is like finding a good pen - it's hard to do! Thanks for sharing this.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Oh dear me, Amazon has just had the pleasure of my patronage again! As soon as I saw your post I had to buy myself a green (to match my sewing room) battery-operated pencil sharpener LOL! :)

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hi sister BABES- I'm in Sydney Nova Scotia. And if you think you love sharp pencils Jilly, gotta know I don't leave the house without a sharpener. I've got one in my purse for our right-now cruise. BABES group discount- who else wants to order one with me? Jilly besides the sharpener, for accurate pattern work use a hard pencil. Minimum 4H and for the hard core pro pattern makers a 7H. Personally, besides a sharpener, I always have a metal pencil case with a selection of color ones plus a 6B smudge one with a mini sketch book. Serious pencil lover here, so thanks for your wonderful post Jilly.

    ReplyDelete