I purchased my first set of pens 2 years ago using funds from the insurance claim of a burst pipe in my basement. Unfortunatly I had problem with the pens from the begining: many of them were dry and difficult to color with. I have since heard many people using Spectrum Noir pens having the same problem. Recently I had a nice conversation with CR at Crafters Companion about this and she gave me some great information about the product and and really great coupons to help replace the set. The second generation ( which is really the third round) has a completely new barrel design, lock tight caps and a slight ink reformulation, in other word a better product and for the same price. These pens can be purchased very inexpensively, about a dollar each if you have a coupon and a store near you that sells them. They also offer ink refills, new nibs and a bunch of other yummy things for your coloring.
I did try the new generation and I have to say, they are awesome. I have tried other brands of markers, Some I like and some I don't. I love Copics but they are too pricey for me. If I ever go pro - I may switch systems. but looking at the costs and what I do, it breaks down to this ,
For the entire collection SN pens the cost is $293.00 - 168 pens .
For the entire collection of copics $2208.00 - 358 pens.
SN ink refills: 838.32, Total $1141.00
Copic refills $3204.01 Total $5412.00
So we're looking at basically a $4,000.00+ difference.
I don't think I will ever color that good or that much to cause my husband to say wow, you NEED to get the copics.
Again, Copic make a wonderful product, I am not knocking it or their pricing, it is just not in my range of affordability.
I have the entire collection of SN pens and I am working on building my ink refills, one at a time. In the mean time a sure crisis in my world is a dry pen and this post is really all about that and keeping it from happening! My friend Lindsay of over at Frugal Crafter blog posted a tutorial about giving more life to your solvent ink pads using denatured alcohol and I tried this with my dry SN pens and got fabulous results! I wanted to share those with you:
I buy the Alcohol at the hardware store, the can is about $5.00 and lasted so far 3 years ; it's 3/4's full. This also makes "blender solution". I use a recycled vitamin B12 drops bottle to keep some handy on my desk.
Here is a 1st gen DP 6 pen, dry and yucky
I've easily pulled the nib. It is pretty dry.
I put a dropper full of the alcohol directly into the pen barell, a few drops on the nib - both ends.
After letting it sit 4 minutes it revived quite a bit, but still not to the flowy inkyness I was looking for. so I pulled the nib and added a few more drops into the barrel and then another on to the chisel nib. replacing the nib and the caps I stood it on the chisel end long enough to make andice coffee.
So after about 10 total minutes this marker was really nice an juicy and ready to use.
I teach alcohol pen coloring and techniques, I really need to have pens that are juicy and easy to color with, and this little trick helps me keep them that way.
This also holds true with the solvent ink pads, there are lots of ink left in the pads and pens, it is just the solvent that evaporates out of them. Is your stazon pad dry? before you re-ink it refresh it with a teaspoon of Denatured Alcohol, it will bring it right back to life. I do this with pens and pads - refresh twice and then re-ink once. It works and it stretches you supplies.
here is a pretty digi to try coloring:
I hope you found this helpful, thanks for stopping by!