My mailbox runneth over! I’ve never been the kind of person who clamors for free stuff – but much of what I’ve received lately just showed up without a request in advance. (Part of me wonders if that’s what companies are going to start doing; I get SO MUCH SPAM and just don’t reply to it  – so are companies going to start drop-shipping instead of emailing to ask first?) 

 aAnyway – since it’s trick-or-treat season, I thought I would do a little unboxing all week! This is both for paper lovers and pen lovers, and Friday I’ve got something for the marker lovers. And during the week on social and in Artventure I just might have something for stampers to love!


Video: Trick or Treat? Unboxing art supplies

More on each of these items is below the video….but let’s get busy opening packages!

Watch the video below and scroll to the end to leave comments or questions — or click HERE to watch it on YouTube and leave comments over there. I read both dutifully!

Paper subscription: Your Paper Insider

Your Paper Insider was a total surprise when I saw the box in the mail! I’d never heard of this company, so truth be told I can’t tell you if it’s an ongoing nice package like this one. But it was kinda fun to go through, it felt a little like walking through a paper store and touching all the papers! (And not having to worry about being yelled at by staff, ha!)

The company offers a monthly subscription – and it’s JUST paper. There are others who do papers with other supplies too, but this seems to be all 8-1/2″ x 11″ papers and cardstock, 1 sheet of most and 2 sheets of a couple of them. I didn’t see any that I felt were of dubious quality, though I wonder how to use a few of them. Their website says sometimes papers will be smaller too.

If you’d like to subscribe even for a month or two and get some fun papers into your stash, head over to Your Paper Insider and sign up.

Which paper would you like to see in a project? I’ll come up with something for social media at least!

Fountain pens: Ellington Pens

These pens weren’t a surprise in my inbox; the good folks at Ellington messaged me on Instagram to ask if I’d be interested. After getting burned last time I said yes to someone sending pens, I was slightly hesitant – but since it’s a company that’s based in England, I decided to risk it. (The fail turned out to be a company in China.) These pens are “engineered in England,” however they’re manufactured in China, it turns out, but – these pens might just prove that some good products can come out of there. So far my first few doodlings are showing these to be lovely pens. I asked about price points and they said $30-$50 – which is right in the sweet spot for what I call an affordable GOOD pen. There are some $10 ones out there that are just awful, and my go-to-TWSBIs are in the $35ish range.

They’re officially launching their website to sell products on November 7th, and the reason I’m giving you a heads up is so you can get on their waitlist (email list) – they’ll be sending out discounts, so if you should decide one of these pens should come home with you, you’ll have that to cut the price even more.

Stay tuned to my blog/YT for a pen and ink video on Nov 7th with a fuller review.

More unboxings ahead!

I did say I had a bunch of packages arrive – so hang tight! I’m making a video for Friday with some new-to-me alcohol markers, and even if you’re not interested in new pens, I’m going to teach you how to draw something that’ll be super cute for holiday cards or tags. And on social media and Artventure this week I’ll be using some new stamps that have arrived too!


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  1. June from Minnesota

    I am intrigued by the Ellington pens.
    How do you fill the ink? Is it messy? What ink colors are available? Are the inks waterproof? What is the nib size and are there replacements? Does it leak? How smoothly does it write? Does it feel heavy in your hand?
    I cannot wait for your review!

    • Sandy Allnock

      I wish I had all those answers! Those pens they sent me of the same size nib, but I believe they will have a full range. The pens come with a piston converter and a couple cartridges (2 black and a blue, not waterproof) if you don’t want to put your own Ink in the converter—pretty standard. More next week!


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