Thursday, 25 August 2016

Review Post: crafting with Posca Pens

I was delighted when Posca got in touch and asked if I'd be interested in reviewing their paint marker pens. A packet of their water-based pens arrived in the post a couple of weeks ago and we've been having fun creating with them.

a selection of posca pens

Posca Pens are designed to write on a multitude of surfaces, such as:
* Fabric
* Glass
* Metal
* Paper
* Card
* Wood
* Stone

The pens come in a large range of colours, are water resistant and fade resistant. When I first opened the packet I thought there would be a solvent smell when using the pens. But they are odour free and I felt completely comfortable with my daughter using them.

crafting with posca pens

We decided to put the Posca Pens through their paces and gathered together various materials, which included:
* A plastic yogurt pot
* A selection of stones collected from the beach
* A wooden drinks coaster
* A glass jar

Before you start getting creative, the brand new pens need to be prepped. Each pen needs a vigourous shake to move the ball inside the barrel. I then grabbed a test sheet of paper and pressed the tip down several times to start the paint flowing. Once you've done that with each pen, you're good to go. Remember to replace the cap firmly after using them or the pens will dry out.

First up we decided to decorate three stones we had collected from the beach. Magoo created a bright geometric pattern using a variety of colours. I think it looks fab for a first attempt using the pens.

creating pebble art with posca pens

childrens crafts with posca pens

I doodled a Summer inspired design featuring sunshine, lettering and swirls. We both loved how easy it was to use the pens on the stones. The colours were vibrant and we had more control than with paintbrushes.

posca pen pebble art summer 2016

decorate a pebble with posca pens

Here is our finished group of stones. We have often painted stones in the past, but Posca Pens help to create designs with finer details. There are plenty of examples of Posca painted stones on the internet, including these fun Totem Pebbles. I think we'll have a go at making the Totems next time we gather some stones together.

collection of pebbles we decorated with posca pens

Next up, the wooden coaster. Magoo set to work creating a floral pattern onto the wood surface. Again the colours were bright and went onto the surface smoothly. I would like to experiment further with wooden surfaces and create some plant markers for our allotment using Posca Pens.

drawing on wood with posca pens

artwork on wooden surface with posca pens

I was keen to try out a bit of doodling on the plastic yogurt pot. I thought this might be the toughest surface test for the Posca Pens. Most felt tip pens do not work well on plastic...this is not the case with Posca Pens. Again the ink glides onto the plastic, looks bright and dries quickly. There aren't many ink pens that team up with plastic in quite the same way.

doodling on plastic with posca pens

We then moved along to doodling on a glass jar. Magoo was keen to create a 'dream jar' as we had just seen the BFG film. She covered the jar with lots of swirls, loops and stars. We're going to add a label and create a lid to keep the dream contained within the jar.

crafting and doodling with posca pens

Magoo fell in love with drawing onto glass with the pens. I must admit, using Posca Pens on glass is amazing, again the ink glides onto the surface, dries quickly and looks really vibrant.

I spotted a number of images on Posca's Instagram account of artists creating window art for various shops using Posca Pens. The window displays look fantastic, so I decided to let Magoo loose on our patio doors. I had already tested a small area of our windows to see if the pens wiped off easily and I can confirm they do. So Magoo set to work...

creating window art with posca pens

window art makes a great children's creative activity

window art created with posca pens

I think her Posca Pen drawings look fab on the glass. Using the pens on the windows was a big hit with Magoo and a great way to get creative in the Summer holidays.

As you can see Posca Pens can handle many surfaces. It's easy to see why artists are using these pens to draw onto walls, windows, skateboards, surfboards and just about any other surface you can think of. Posca also hosted a "doodle wall" at the recent Upfest Street Art Festival in Bristol. If you take a look at the Posca Instagram account you can get inspired by the multitude of applications for their pens.

I have to say I'm a Posca Pen convert and will definitely be using them in future crafting projects. Magoo loves them too, in fact she refers to them as 'the special pens'. We didn't try them out on fabric, so that's next up on my crafting 'to do' list. I think we'd also like to use them to colour some creations made with air dried clay. So many possibilities!

Keep your eyes peeled for September's "Crafting is my Therapy", we will be holding a Posca Pen giveaway. Link up with your crafty blog posts to be in with a chance of winning a set of these amazing pens.
Disclaimer: these Posca Pens were sent to me for the purpose of this review. All views are honest and are my own.
This week I am linking up with these lovely blogs:
"Naturally Crafty" over on
"The List" over on
"Blogger Club UK" over on

Thursday, 11 August 2016

A family day out to Bristol Harbour and the M-shed

If you love nostalgia then you need to make a beeline for the M-shed in Bristol this Summer. They are hosting an exhibition entitled "The Story of Children’s Television From 1946 to Today" and it runs until 25th September 2016. As soon as I heard a host of beloved characters from my childhood would be on display, I knew we had to pay a visit.

Magoo had been asking if we could "go on a double decker bus" over the school holidays. Because we all like visiting Bristol and the bus stop is situated at the top of our road, we decided to jump on a double decker and head to the city. Like I say, I'd been itching to see the Story of Children's Television" exhibition for a while now. Because this temporary display covers Children's Televison from 1946 up to the present day, I knew Grandma, myself and Magoo would all find something to enjoy.

The M-Shed is situated right in the middle of Bristol Harbour, so there are plenty of boats to see. At the moment there is an impressive tall ship called the Kaskelot moored opposite the M-Shed. It was a truly magnificent sight and you can't help marvel at the size of it. If you look at the ship's website, you can see images of it at sea in full sail.

After admiring the Kaskelot we stopped off at Millenium Square to see the Official Team GB FanZone where live coverage of the Olympic Games from Rio is shown on a big screen. Grandma and I drank a cup of tea from the @Bristol Cafe and we all ate homemade cake watching the swimmers do their thing at the Olympic Games.

Once we'd finished our tea and cake, we headed across Pero's Bridge to reach the Queen Square side of the water. Whilst on the bridge, we stopped to look at the padlocks covering the sides. These 'love locks' are attached to the metal grids by couples as a romantic gesture and the amount of padlocks has steadily grown over the years. I was surprised at just how many locks are now on the bridge, they seem to have covered every available space.

The council don't like them and there were attempts to cut them off in 2015. Bristol citizens have a habit of not doing what is expected of them. It seems the council's dislike of the locks has prompted a whole sea of them to appear. I don't find them offensive and we all enjoyed looking at the names, inscriptions and different shaped locks.

We walked past the Arnolfini and across the swing bridge on Prince Street. Before we went into the M-Shed we took a moment to look at the sun shining on the water in Bristol Harbour and admire The Matthew. The "Modern Matthew' is a replica of the caravel ship sailed by John Cabot in 1497 from Bristol to North America.

It is a beautiful boat, run by volunteers and funded by charitable donations. Magoo was keen to climb down the wooden steps to see below deck. We found about eight small bunks crammed into a tight space. It's hard to imagine how the 1497 crew sailing to Newfoundland lived, ate and slept in such a small space. It must have been horrendous in severe storms and rolling waves.

After our tour of The Matthew we headed into the M-Shed. There is so much to see and lots to learn about Bristol life past, present and future. One of my favourite parts of the M-Shed are the perspex boxes cut into the wall looking out over the docks. There are quite a few of these 'windows' and each one is filled with intricate model boats. I love the juxtaposition of the tiny models against the impressive sight of a real tall ship outside.

The museum is divided up into three main areas, Bristol Places, Bristol People and Bristol Life. Each section spans past history and places through to modern day characters like Banksy. There's even a bright green, full-sized Bristol Bus from the 1960s for everyone to jump aboard. Magoo loved this part the best and she had the opportunity to sit on the top deck of a modern bus and an old fashioned one all in the same day.

Once we managed to coax Magoo off the bus we headed to the Children's Television Exhibition on the top floor. It was, as I had hoped, a complete nostalgia-fest! So many memories flooded back and I adored seeing Humpty from PlaySchool, Gordon the Gopher, puppets from Button Moon, DangerMouse and many, many more.

Magoo was also in her element as the exhibition features modern day TV programs from Cbeebies and CBBC. Having said that, she was glued to the compilations being shown on various televisions around the exhibition. The clip of Pogles' Wood which was made back in the late-1960s caught her attention and she particularly loved Roobarb and Custard. I know watching TV often gets a bad rap, but we all have shows we loved as kids and this exhibition celebrates that. Children's TV holds happy memories for lots of people and we all loved looking at the exhibits.

Once we'd had our fill of nostalgia we headed back out into the sunshine for an ice cream. As we looked out over the water I promised Magoo we would make a return visit to the M-Shed. We had barely scratched the surface of the vast array of items on display and we'll definitely be back...

This week I am linking up with:

"Country Kids" over on

Monday, 1 August 2016

Crafting is my Therapy #7

Welcome to the Seventh “Crafting is my Therapy” blog link-up.

I hope you’ve had a wonderful month or making and creating.

It was nice to see new craft bloggers getting involved in July. We loved seeing everything you’ve created. I particularly liked Deborah Champion’s post about sewing a tiny suit for her doll. Plus it was her first time linking up to Crafting is my Therapy.

This month I have linked up with my latest hand sewn hoop featuring a pretty butterfly motif. I attempted Satin Stitch for the first time in many years...

I also wanted to mention it's National Stitch Day on 6th August. The National Celebration of Stitch is designed to raise awareness of the Embroiderers’ Guild, demonstrating the delights of stitching, textiles and embroidery. Events will be taking place across the country and this event at Bristol Museum sounds particularly lovely and I'm going to try and go along...

Last month we also held a Sugru giveaway. There were 6 posts (not including the hosts) added to our link-up in July. Using the random number generator, I can tell you that the winner is…Zeens and Roger! A selection of Sugru packs will be heading her way shortly.

Have you created anything crafty this month? If you sew, knit, crochet, paint, work with ceramics…please join in and share your blog posts.

The focus of this blog link-up is crafting for pleasure, basically taking some ‘me-time’ to unwind in our busy lives. It doesn’t have to be a finished project, we love seeing work in progress, planning posts or tutorials too.

Grab the Crafting is my Therapy badge:

Me You and Magoo

I co-host Crafting is my Therapy with Jennifer Jain. She writes the popular craft blog Jennifers Little World

Jennifer hosts our Pinterest group board. Would you like your blog posts to be seen by over 700K followers? Craft Bloggers linking to #craftingismytherapy are welcome to join our board. It's a great way for your posts to reach a wider audience...

The “Crafting is my Therapy” link-up will open on 1st August and stay open for the whole month – giving you plenty of time to get involved.
* You can link up with maximum of three posts per month, old or new.
* Grab the link-up badge or link back to our blogs on your post.
* Please share the love and comment on other people’s posts.
* If you could share your post and the link-up (using the hashtag #craftingismytherapy) on any social media channels that would be great. This will help us to grow the community. We will retweet all your posts via Twitter if you mention us (@pouchvintage/@JenniferJain )
* And finally, if you would like to follow me on Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram, you’re more than welcome! Jennifer Jain’s links are here too: Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook.


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