Thursday, March 6, 2014

Regional Candy Swap - Oh Yeah!

   Mid-February, Heidi Kenney (the talent behind Yummy) announced on her blog that she was going to host a regional candy swap. The swap was an experiment, so this time it was limited to only 20 participants from the United States to see if things would run smoothly. Each participant was matched with someone from a different location. The purpose of the swap was to exchange candy unique to each person's area. Doesn't that sound awesome? I didn't have to think twice about joining the fun!

   I was pleasantly surprised when it was time to know who our swap partners would be. I was lucky enough to be matched with Heidi herself. The picture above shows all the goodies she sent from Philadelphia. Most of this candy was new to me; some I had never even heard of.

   Not only was the candy delicious, but Heidi took care to include a few extra nice details: Some of the candies even had little notes attached. She also wrapped the sweets in a candy-themed wrapping paper, included a super cute sticker book and the card shown below. She may not have known this, but that terrarium inspired card is right up my alley.

   My favorite treats among everything I received are the Lancaster's Vanilla and Caramel Soft Crèmes and the Zitner's Butter Krak Eggs. The caramels are melt in your mouth soft. Yum!

   Zitner's Butter Krak Eggs are super rich in a way that doesn't overwhelm: one goes a long way. These luscious chocolates are perfectly balanced for a pleasurable experience.

   My wife disagreed with my choices though. Don't get me wrong: she liked my favorites, but she LOVED Slo Poke. It's soft caramel that comes in bar form. Definitely good.

   Participating in this swap was a great experience and I can't wait to do it again in the future. If you want to see what I sent to Heidi, visit her blog.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Art Supplies Shopping Spree - Blick

   This past Christmas, I gifted myself an art supplies shopping spree. Isn't that awesome? :D

   I don't usually splurge like this, but there are SO many supplies I can't find locally. It's no fun to go to the art stores and not be able to find what you're looking for. I paint using all kinds of media for different effects, depending on my mood and what is available at the moment. That's why after lusting for some of these for a long while I decided to go ahead and get me a little bit of everything to try. And I've been having so much fun testing them.

   The spree included inks, watercolors, markers, pencils, pastels, crayons, you name it, but if I had to choose favorites (something akin to choosing a favorite child I must imagine) I'd choose the inks and soft pastels. Inks are super versatile and the colors are so bright! :D I even got me a couple of pearlescent acrylic inks and they're gorgeous. Soft pastels are my thing though, I realized last year while using them on a project that I just adore the softness and blendability of them, but I wanted better pigments, that were lightfast and more saturated; I found just that on Sennelier.

These guys have their gorgeous store right in front of the Louvre Museum in Paris, France.
As you can imagine visiting that store is now in my bucket list.

   These soft pastels are the first super fancy professional grade supply I ever put my mittens on (besides some boring colors of liquitex paint) and they do not disappoint. They're super soft and the colors are vibrant. :) I love the softness that can be achieved with pastels, but I need colors to be happy.

   There are so many items in this spree that I love, one post is not enough. I'll try and do some supply review posts in the future because I feel some of these items need their own space. I will leave you now with a painting I did a few days ago in which I used many of the supplies from this spree. I love how it turned out, plus it has a mango so...

I Found Sweetness - Super bad pic taken with my phone
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