Yesterday's post on Copics provoked this most excellent question from reader bluejeannes:
"What makes Copics so great, so much superior to others? They are very expensive, so I've never bought any."
Well, bluejeannes, I can't answer that question as an expert, but here's what I know from experience.
1. Alcohol markers come in a variety of price points. Sharpies and Bics are the cheapest, but the color range is limited to mostly very bright, strong colors. They also don't blend quite as well as Copics. Copics are, to my knowledge, the most expensive alcohol markers, and they work like dream. There's a middle-ground price-point alcohol marker called Spectrum Noir. I have never tried these, but a lady at Marco's told me she uses those instead of Copics and loves them.
Random strangers at craft stores might not be entirely reliable sources, but it's all I've got to offer.
2. There are LOTS of coloring options that are just as lovely as Copics...for a lot less money. Watercolors and colored pencils, for instance, are not nearly as pricey, and can produce incredible results. They won't look like the Copics, but if an image gets colored, who really cares what medium was used? Will your card recipient even know there were options? Probably not.
3. We should be careful how we spend our precious crafting dollars. Copics are VERY expensive, and even though I've purchased most of mine with coupons and on sale, it's still a sizeable investment. To be honest, if I'd known about the Spectrum Noir pens before I started collecting Copics, I'd probably have chosen them over Copics. Coloring isn't a passion for me, but I do enjoy all the pretty colors.
That said, Copics truly are high-quality markers. They blend beautifully, especially on the Gina K 120# white card stock. They are refillable, and you can replace worn nibs. Even my oldest Copics are still juicy, and the tips are in excellent shape. They last.
For those who are not expert colorers, it's possible to fake results that are good enough for government work, as the saying goes.
For those who commit to mastering them, the results are pure art. Check out Sandy Alnock's videos on YouTube to see an expert at work.
For those who choose to avoid alcohol markers altogether, good on you! After all, I've avoided die cut machines and the money pit of needing every die I see. Good on me! Let's celebrate by buying a set of stamps!
If you're a total noob at alcohol markers, I strongly recommend getting a few Sharpies or Bics first to try your hand at color blending (off-the-shelf Sharpies in a yellow, light orange, and dark orange would work). If it seems like fun, pick out a few shades of your favorite color in Spectrum Noir or Copics and experiment. Decide how fully you want to commit. If you decide to proceed, build your collection as slowly as your budget requires. I've been working on my collection for about five years or so, and it finally feels finished.
So there you have it. For what it's worth. Which might not be much.
Here's another card (somewhat similar to yesterday's layout) using more shades of Copics. Love these cool, bright colors!
I think I got a little carried away with bling, but still. It's a perfect card for a beautiful friend of mine. She's going to love it, overly blinged and all!
Now, this is already a long post, but I want to share something that happened to me today. My guardian angel was working overtime.
A tree came down across the road right in front of my car. I slammed on the brakes, but couldn't tell if the tree hit the front of my car or if the car hit the tree...it was that close. Fortunately, a landscaping company truck and trailer stopped behind me. The guys got out, checked for damage, and told me the tree was lodged under the bumper...it hadn't damaged the car at all. They needed a chainsaw to get it out from under the car and off the road. Those three men were a GODSEND! They had the road cleared and everything moving in about two minutes. Thank the Lord for Good Samaritans armed with chainsaws!
Mercy, grace, peace, love, and gratitude,
stamps: Concord & 9th Wild Flowers, Hero Arts sentiment
ink: Memento black
paper: Gina K 120# white
accessories: Copics, rhinestones