ME? a Colorama Tyrant?

Note: Not farm related exactly…but part of this happened here at the farm.  Does that count?  Oh, and Big Boss finally got his post written so that will coming up sometime soon.  No promises tho.  Tis the weekend and anything can happen at this place on a weekend. 

Recently, I stumbled upon a blog piece that haunted me.  The author spoke of her “problem” with crayolas and her need to keep them perfectly placed, lined up and arranged. Huh?  I would never do such a thing. Would I?  Do I?  Uh oh.  My conscience began poking me. Prodding me.  ME?!  I am a good sharer and always have been.  Well, except for my Coloramas/colored pencils.  But I’ve had those things for YEARS! They’re bona-fide antiques therefore must be protected. Do I hear an “amen” out there?

The way it should be. Photo from my stash.

Hello.  My name is Deb and I’m a Colorama Tyrant.  Remember Coloramas? You know, the colored pencils used in art classes from sea to shining sea.  From the ’60s?  Mine came in a frosted plastic case and are hidden carefully tucked away downstairs with my scrapping supplies.  We got them for Mrs. Larner’s art class in the 6th(?) grade at East Elementary.  I’m not sure how I scraped the money together to buy them but once I had them in my hands, they were MINE.  All mine.  Nobody touched them but me

There were maybe 12 colored pencils and oh baby could those pencils color.  They were smoooooth.  They sharpened to perfection without breaking off in the pencil sharpener.  (That shows quality!)  The lead was true to the color of the outside of the pencil…you pick up the turquoise pencil, you got turquoise whatever-you-were-coloring.  The tips gave you Marine-sharp edges and if you turned the pencil on its side, you got nice, soft shading.  I loved those pencils.  I still have them after hiding stashing them for over 40 years. But I don’t tell anyone where they are. I have Colorama thieves surrounding me. And you can never be too careful.

I  have gone a step further though.  Since I won’t/don’t use my beloved Coloramas (hiding saving them for the future!), I had to find some colored pencils to do my cake sketches with.  You won’t believe how much it helps to have a cake sketched in color.  I mean, can you picture hot pink zebra stripes with a deep blue border?  NO, I tell you.  You must SEE it before you can make it and if you make it, they will come. Or eat. 

So I made a trip to the Big City art store.  Good grief!  Who knew there are so many KINDS of colored pencils?!  There were six different brands with boxes of 12, boxes of 24, boxes of 48.  This was Pencil Paradise!!  (obviously I haven’t got out a lot in the past 30 years).  I looked at Hobby Lobby and Michael’s.  And even Wally World. The downer was that the nicer pencils were slightly higher than the $4.99 set that I bought back in 1961. 

I finally returned to HobLob and decided that I what I needed was quantity at this point and quality was going to have to take a back seat.  For the cakes anyway.  So I bought Crayola Twistables colored pencils…THIRTY colors!  Yeowwzerrrs!!  Mine. All mine!  I keep them lined them up according to shades of colors…deep blue, medium blue, turq blue, royal blue and then the greens and yellows and reds and pinks and oh my gosh THE PURPLES!  You can never have enough purple.

I was in colored pencil heaven.  And then. And then my grands found them.  Granted, I encouraged them to color and draw and paint.  We are an artsy bunch around this farm.  But I did not like my colored pencils dumped out on to the floor.  And I certainly did not like them squished, scattered and stomped upon.  There was always one missing when they were nonchalantly crammed back into the case and NOT in color order. Not good. At all.  So I did what any grumpy old nazigranny would do….I hid them.  And I secretly was happy.  Does this make me a bad person? 

Then one sad day…one of the granddaughters cornered me with her beady blue eyes and shook her tiny finger in my face and asked, “MEEMAW, WHERE are the good Twistable colored pencils?!!”  I stammered.  I stuttered.  “UH, well you guys are kinda hard on them so I got you these El Cheapo colored pencils.”  She wasn’t buying it.  At all.  With those humongous blue eyes drooping ever so slightly, she whimpered, “We’re HARD on them?”  Gulp. “Ok maybe not hard on them but I can never find them all when you leave.”  She still wasn’t buying it. “But Meemaw, I promise to be careful with them?!!!” she bellowed ever so slightly.  Arggggh.  “You canNOT have them.  I need them. They’re mine!!” And I thrust the El Cheapo pencils  in her direction.  Her response?  “I don’t like those.  They don’t color as good as the other ones!” Exactly right my dearest granddaughter. And the good ones will stay hidden for that very reason.   I know.  I need help. I won’t let my own grandchildren use my beloved colored pencils.  What kind of sorry excuse of a granny am I?!  (one who knows where all her colored pencils are, that’s the kind *snort*)

So, if you ever need colored pencils, don’t come knocking on my door.  I will lend you my cake supplies. I will lend you a cup of sugar.  I will even lend you…maybe…a book.  As long as you promise to put it back in the exactly the same place you found it. Remember, the history books are all together and the fiction books are in another shelf and the children’s books are lower levels so they can be reached easily.  NO silly, they aren’t alphabetized.  That would be waaay weird.  Just sayin’.

PS I couldn’t help myself…I just discovered I can do text colors here.  Cool.  Thanks WordPress!!!! 🙂

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8 Responses to ME? a Colorama Tyrant?

  1. RAFrenzy says:

    This is great!

    I have a thing about colored pencils too. An incomplete set really offends me. 😀

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  2. The Queen says:

    I know. It’s almost as bad as fingernails on a chalkboard. Just not right…

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  3. Art Girly says:

    Have you tried Prisma colored pencils? You’ll never go back!!!! They’re expensive, but well worth it. Because the lead color is softer, you can layer them and shade with them. They work wonderfully on colored paper (even black). They’re awesome! Check out NASCO’s Arts and Crafts department online catalogue or TRIARCO Arts and Crafts online for larger, cheaper sets than the art stores. For years I have ordered my art supplies for the district from them. . Michael’s sells them by the pencil too (but more expesive that way….but you could see it you lilke them, though.) Also your grands might lilke Crayola construction paper crayons which work well on colored construction paper (even black) They cost a little more than regular crayons but so much fun! And if you grands have never used tempera cakes (like giant watercolors), that’s a must too. Prang’s Ambrite colored chalk is tons better than the regular. All found on the above websites. 🙂

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  4. Pingback: Where in world is the gas can? « Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Country Life

  5. Donna says:

    I don’t know much about the different brands of colored pencils, but I’m looking for a good quality colored pencils. I looked at the Colorama website and saw the beautiful, deep, rich colors and wanted to know more about them. Any suggestions on what to get? Or, is that deep color achieved by repeated layering? Thank you.

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    • The Queen says:

      Hey Donna! Good question. My friend, Fancy Nancy, suggested Prismacolor pencils so I followed her advice…after all, she is an art expert!! 🙂 Found them at Hobby Lobby for about $40??? (it’s been a while!) and got them using my 40% discount that they offer weekly on one item. Love, love, love them. (Couldn’t find Colorama anywhere!) My set is the 36 count watercolor, so they can be blended with water and brush. Layering will do the trick. But they are hidden and I don’t share them. No one but ME knows where they are and it will stay that way! I have, however a wonderful stash of Crayola pencils for the grands. They think they’re getting to use my pencils. Ha! Little do they know!!!

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      • Donna says:

        Thank you for getting back to me so promptly. I think I just caught the coloring bug and I’m enjoying it so much. Have been using markers found around the house here, but wanted to start using pencils. Am not ready to purchase yet, but did find on Amazon the soft core Prisma colored pencils (72 count) for 54.99 and found on Hobby Lobby for the same thing at 90.99 . . . big difference, but if the 40% coupon is used, it comes to almost the same thing. Again, thank you.

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