Sunday, July 27, 2008

Back to school with Stubby Pencil

It seems summer vacation has only just started, yet already we are seeing ads for back to school sales. Now is a great time to stock up on school supplies, and don't forget my favorite place for eco-friendly art supplies, Stubby Pencil Studio.

We recently got to try some of the new products at Stubby Pencil Studio.

The Trimax Triangular Jumbo Colored Pencils ($11.95) are nice and thick and easy for little hands to grip . They have an ergonomic triangular shape which increases finger contact and improves pencil control - very helpful for those who, like Arielle, are just starting to write. The pencils are made from reforested wood, and are end-dipped by color, with a natural lacquer finish. We liked the smooth feel and bright colors (12 for $5.95 or set of 24 for $9.95).

Eco Highlighter pencils ($2.00 each) are an environmentally friendly alternative to the standard yellow marker - with no plastics, no ink solvents, no volatile organic compounds and they are made from in Austria and are biodegradable. They will last all year (or even longer) and work great - no bleeding to the other side - and even erase. We are sending one off to college this year.

Watercolor crayons ($3.95 for a set of 12) I was so excited to try these and they didn't disappoint.

First you draw a picture.

Got to get it just right.

And then you go over it with a wet paintbrush. Voila!

The bright colors mix instantly and give a great effect. Do not place the crayons directly in water. The crayons are made in Brazil.

On our school shopping list are:

Prang Fun Pro Soy Crayons (8 for $1.00, 24 for $3.00)

We love the smooth feel and bright colors of these crayons. We've been using ours for months and except for the ones Linnea has intentionally broken (she went through a fun "I break crayons because I can" stage), they are in great shape.

We've been wanting to try the Crayon Rocks (16 for $6.95). The pebble-shaped crayons are made from soy and natural mineral powders. Their smooth shape is supposed to be easier for toddler fingers to hold and control, and I love those bright colors.

Smencils (5 for $5.95). For more information see my previous review.

Recycled mini note books ($4.50) I love mine. It is just the right size for shopping lists or lists of errands, but it would also work for keeping track of homework.

Stubby Pencil also has just the right pencil sharpener ($2.75) for sharpening those fat, triangular pencils. These are extra cute and fit both standard and jumbo pencils.

And we love Mary's Soft Dough ($6.50-$18.50). It's time for us to stock up again.

Also, check out Stubby Pencil for small environmentally friendly gifts. The wooden key chains ($1.95) are especially cute and really dress-up a back pack or diaper bag.

Stubby Pencil is still offering a free monkey pencil set with purchase, so be sure to add that to your cart. If you spend over $100, they will also include a Flip & Tumble reusable bag.

A New Blog

Love and Carrots will feature less toys and more activities. It's for all the fun things that don't quite fit here. I just posted my first entry. Check it out!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Hey there!

I'm in the midst of painting our upstairs. My oldest daughter and I have been working non-stop for the last few weeks to get everything done before the carpet comes next week. I'll be back then with pictures of the new little girls' room and lots more toy reviews. We've got some great Haba blocks from Bright October and I have reviews of wonderful Zid Zid and Plan toys to write as well.

I want to thank all of you who have been sending prayers and positive thoughts to my husband in Afghanistan. We appreciate it very much. Thank you.

I hope you are all having a wonderful summer. See you soon!