A Quest

I love my new watercolor pencils. I love them so much, I wore the points to useless little nubs. This was a problem because I did not have a decent pencil sharpener. I know, I know…how could a person with a room full of art supplies not have a decent pencil sharpener? Well, I bought a rotary sharpener a long time ago, but I never found a good place to attach it, so it’s still useless to me. I had plenty of cheap sharpeners, but I knew these would only tear up my pretty new pencils or over-sharpen them until the points broke off. I needed a good hand-held sharpener and, thanks to Samie Kira, I knew exactly which one I wanted. Samie blogs as Journal Girl and I remembered an entire blog post she had done about the best pencil sharpener in the world. It was the Faber Castell 9000 and once I read about how wonderful it was, I couldn’t imagine buying any other sharpener. I decided to go on a quest.

I clipped out some coupons and drove to a nearby shopping center that has a JoAnn at one end and a Michael’s at the other. I tried JoAnn first. No luck. I was still in JoAnn when I got a call from my daughter, who was wondering if I was planning a pencil sharpener hunt. She thought she might like to come along. Oops! I guess I should have called her before I left. I told her I was already on a pencil sharpener hunt and she sounded so disappointed, I offered to drive back and pick her up. We ended up agreeing that I would check Michael’s first and if they didn’t have the pencil sharpener, I would pick up my daughter and we would plan our next move together. Michael’s did not have the pencil sharpener, so I drove to my daughter’s house.

When she came out of the house, we talked about where we should go next. She suggested Hobby Lobby, but I reminded her that it was Sunday and Hobby Lobby would be closed. That left A.C. Moore, which is a long way to our South and West, and the local art supply store, Reddi Arts, which is across the river. Jacksonville is a river city and plenty of folks cross the river every day just to get to their jobs, but my daughter knows I am not fond of crossing the river. Anything seems too far away if I have to cross the river to get to it. In this instance, though, a true art supply store seemed a better bet than a chain arts and crafts store, so we decided to make the river crossing. That’s when I learned that my five-year-old grandson was quite keen on coming along. Oh, and since we were crossing the river, could we maybe drop my daughter’s husband at a Magic: the Gathering tournament over there?

This was turning into quite an adventure.

By this time, it was nearly one o’clock and I usually have my second half-cup of coffee at noon. My daughter knows how cranky I get without my caffeine, so once everyone was buckled up and I said, “Where’s our first stop?”, she said, “Starbucks.” Since I had read in the paper (yes, I still read newspapers – I’m old) that Starbucks had recently started serving the Pumpkin Spice Latte again, I agreed. The first Pumpkin Spice Latte of the year is worth celebrating.

Pumpkin spice Latte!

Pumpkin spice Latte!

Once we had our treats from Starbucks, we drove across the river and dropped my son-in-law at the game center. Then my daughter navigated while I drove to Reddi Arts. Reddi Arts is like Disneyland for creative people. It’s simply huge, with art and art supplies everywhere. There’s a gallery. There are watercolors and oil paints and pastels and acrylics. There is every kind of support imaginable, from paper to canvas to board. There are art supplies for children and art supplies for students and art supplies for professional artists. You name it; they have it. Except for the Faber Castell 9000 pencil sharpener. I had to settle for a different Faber Castell, one that had three sharpener heads instead of two. It was not the Holy Grail of pencil sharpeners, but it would have to do. I needed to be able to use my watercolor pencils.


I had to re-sharpen the blue pencil a lot to finish this drawing.


9 thoughts on “A Quest

  1. Shirley

    I ran into dull pencils last year and put it on my Christmas wish list and, my daughter came through I received an old school,
    screw to the wall pencil sharpener. I was a happy camper

    1. releaf1954 Post author

      I will be a happy camper if I ever find a good place to screw mine to the wall. Oh, and if I can then figure out where I put it while I was trying to figure that out. 🙂

  2. katieflynn

    First off I am jealous of your trip to Reddi Arts I haven’t been there in a long time, and I cross the river almost every day. As for the rest of the adventure, being that I am often the designated driver for you daughters adventures, I understand exactly how your day went. Also, I actually have the pencil sharpener you are looking for, or i used to when I was a fine arts major. I will look around and see if I can find it for you. Keep up the new artwork it looks good.

    1. releaf1954 Post author

      Katie, if you were to find that sharpener for me, I would be forever in your debt! I probably already am, though, for all those times you’ve driven my daughter over the river.

  3. Far League Ranger

    More than a few artists (and art instructors) I’ve known have insisted that the only proper way to sharpen a pencil is with a knife and then sandpaper to form the proper point. But I’ve pretty much always had a rotary hanging on my wall.

  4. releaf1954 Post author

    Thanks for reading and commenting. We did have a lovely time at Reddi Arts and I’m proud of myself for buying ONLY the pencil sharpener — unless you count the $2.00 I gave to my grandson so he could buy a sticker book full of robots. He was so excited, that was a pretty good price for the joy it brought to all of us.


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