So on my last (infrequent) trip to AC Moore, I discovered that they are selling their own store-brand bristol board. Their store brand is called Nicole. I used to work at AC Moore and most of the Nicole products are okayish quality. The board seemed like a nice thickness and finish, and was quite cheap, so I thought I’d give it a try.
It’s actually too smooth and slick. When I use ink on it (and I tried a few different ones), the ink doesn’t dry immediately. I am left-handed, so I have to be extremely careful to not accidentally smudge the work…but I always wind up messing it up anyway. But even when the ink appears to be dry, sometimes it comes “back to life” when using a marker over it! Behold:
Click to embiggen for horrible smudgy splotchy mess. Yes, I am still using it. I am a masochist. I am also extremely cheap. I ordered some Strathmore bristol from the Michaels website (best price I could find, buy one get one free) and am waiting for it to arrive.
So here is the ranking of all the bristol boards I’ve tried over the years:
- Strathmore. No contest.
- Bienfang. I haven’t actually used this in years, but when I was in college, it was the easiest and cheapest for me to get. I bought it in the campus bookstore. Not as thick as the Strathmore, but works in a pinch.
- Nicole. Handle with care, LOL.
- Canson. Horrible. Scratchy!
And while we’re at it, a ranking of the craft stores I’ve purchased from online:
- Blick. Once again, no contest. They have everything, and processing is fast. The free shipping is Fedex Smartpost, but meh. Free.
- Michaels. I ordered a couple of other small things with my bristol. Everything but one item (a Copic refill) is shipping together. We’ll see how long it takes for the Copic ink to ship.
- Joann. After ordering from the Joann website, I didn’t shop at the Joann store for a long time. 😛 Don’t buy from the Joann website. It will take a month for your order to ship and at least another week for the package to get to you. Half of the items you want will be backordered and cancelled, and you won’t know which ones until you get the package in the mail. Just don’t do it.
I am also slowly putting up the old hearts-n-stars.net for my autobio comics. I have to buckle down and go through them all to decide which ones are worth letting see the light of day again. 😛