During the last month or so, I have occupied myself on our evening walks by picking up pencils that I find, usually in one of the three schoolyards that we regularly walk through. The yard of the local middle school offers the best selection of pencils; I only rarely find pencils in the yards of the high school or elementary school. I did not find any pens, only pencils. Here they are:
Altogether, I collected 20 pencils (or pencil fragments). The majority of the pencils have suffered greatly in their lives: they have been broken, bitten, run over by cars, and lost their erasers. The most common type of pencil that I found was the Dixon No.2/HB; these pencils seem to be cheap and readily available around here, as I saw a package of them at the local dollar store. I found one pencil crayon: a light blue one from Crayola. I love looking at these pencils and wondering about their histories. I also wonder: how come so many children lose and break their pencils?
Some of the stubs I will sharpen and give to my mother to take to the place where she works; they often need short pencils there. The better ones I will keep for myself (and perhaps even use them!).
Speaking of pencils, so far we have had a definite pen bias here at A Penchant for Paper. Part of the reason is that I don't really use pencils that much, and I am rather overwhelmed by all the different pencils available. I would really appreciate it if you could leave some pencil recommendations for me. The pencils need to be inexpensive and readily available in places like Staples, Office Depot, and Michaels. (I live in a small town and there are few good specialty stationery or art stores nearby, and I cannot afford to buy many things online because of the shipping costs.) The pencils can be writing pencils, drawing pencils, or even mechanical pencils (although I'm mainly thinking of non-mechanical ones here). You can even recommend pencil leads, erasers, or other pencil accessories.
Hopefully, I will be able to find some of your recommendations at local stores and you will see some pencil and pencil-related reviews here in the future!