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the girl with violets in her lap [userpic]

my icon is TOTALLY APPROPRIATE because asparagus is an awesome crayon! But it misses mulberry!

August 6th, 2008 (02:44 pm)

Why, oh, why, is there no venue in which I can buy retired shades of Crayola crayons?

I take my coloring very seriously. I don't post about it on here very often, which is shocking given that I blog to the point of exhaustion about every single other thing that I care about at all. But, yes, I color and it is very serious business to me. I search the Internet regularly for new and exciting coloring pages; and I will only color with crayons, because there are many people in this world who color with art supplies designed for serious artists, and all those people who color with those art supplies are better than me, but I am QUEEN of the crayons, man. Nobody is better at crayon-coloring technique than me. I can blend and overlay and just generally color the shit out of whatever coloring page you give me, as long as I've got my box of crayons by my side.

But they've got to be Crayola crayons. I will not color with anything else. This is actually an artistic preference, and I am not kidding about that: whatever formula they use in creating their crayon wax is the only one that I find suitable for optimal blending. If you give me a box of RoseArt crayons, I will scowl at it, and then use them strictly for doodling and grocery-list-making, because you just can't color properly with those. Thus it is that whenever Crayola comes out with a new, bigger 'n' better box of crayons*, I'm the first one in line to get it. And then, of course, my old box inevitably gets lost at some point, or someone asks to borrow it (CRAYONS ARE COOL, MAN, EVERYBODY WANTS MY CRAYONS) and never returns it.

I always assumed, you know, that there were other people out there who were as ardent fans of coloring in general and Crayola crayons in particular as I. I knew that Crayola had a habit of retiring certain crayons and having people vote in new colors, but I always thought that it was okay, because there were *sure* to be people selling collections of retired Crayolas on eBay. I figured there would be, like, Crayola dealers, people who would buy up a box of old crayons when they heard certain colors were to be retired, and then sell them at a profit down the line. I'm serious. I really thought this.

I was wrong.

eBay has precisely three boxes for sale containing retired crayons. Now, these retired crayons sound very nice: I am particularly attracted to the idea of having a blue gray crayon, because there just aren't enough crayons on the blue-gray spectrum, and both green blue and maize sound like they would be very useful to have as well. But all three of these boxes contain the *same* eight retired crayons. They are centennial boxes, and as such contain all the crayons retired before the year 2000.

They do not contain the four crayons retired in the year 2003.

I have no access to the four crayons retired in the year 2003.

Blizzard blue, magic mint, mulberry, and teal blue. They are PHENOMENAL COLORS! They are SO AWESOME. Seriously. OK, I could probably do without blizzard blue, which is probably exactly why I stumbled across that one lone crayon in a drawer the other day, lost remnant of a 100-crayon box long since lent to someone I haven't seen in six years. But magic mint? Mulberry? Teal blue? I DO NOT KNOW HOW I CAN GO ON COLORING KNOWING THAT THESE BEAUTIFUL SHADES ARE LOST TO ME. Mulberry would be amazing! There are, like, four dark-red crayons, and NO MORE. Seriously, it's maroon, brick red, and -- and then there's plain red, and THERE IS NOT EVEN A FOURTH ONE. Because they RETIRED MULBERRY. And magic mint would be lovely for cooling down the more intense shades of green that are pretty much your only recourse when you are coloring hills and things -- I have been using spring green for that, but not all hills require an undertone of yellow -- and teal blue is an important ocean-and-river color, people. I'm telling you, it is.

They retired these. All four of them. And do you know what they replaced them with? Inchworm and wild blue yonder, which are meh colors, and mango tango, which is worse... and JAZZBERRY JAM. Jazzberry jam is, bar none, my *least favorite* crayon in the *entire box of 150 Crayola crayons*. It's worse than, like, neon carrot. It's an abomination.

And for this I lost my mulberry.

Also they took thistle out of the 120 and 150 boxes, and the site seems to differentiate that from "retiring" it, but I don't know why, because it doesn't look like you can get that anymore either, and I want a thistle crayon.

Why is my life full of woe? My life is so full of woe.


*About nine, ten years ago it was 100 crayons; then it went up to 120, and finally, this year, to 150, PLUS a badly-needed spiraling display case so I can actually see all the colors I can select from! Huzzah! Also a box of 150 crayons costs like $16 or something, but NEVER MIND THAT, IT IS IMPORTANT. A piano costs like THOUSANDS of dollars, so WHATEVER.


Posted by: Michael (ftmichael)
Posted at: August 7th, 2008 12:03 am (UTC)
oregon trail

Not only am I not sad about the loss of thistle, I do not understand the difference between thistle and lavender (if I'm remembering thistle correctly - I remember it being one of my least favourite colours ever, and I was the child who said 'I like every colour except lavender' and meant it).

Clearly I fail at colouring. I bow before your obvious superiority.

Please call Crayola customer service and let us know what they say!

Posted by: the girl with violets in her lap (slammerkinbabe)
Posted at: August 7th, 2008 03:56 pm (UTC)

See, I picture thistle as being a little darker, but maybe I've got it wrong. I'm probably mixing it up with orchid a bit in my head.

I am going to WRITE TO Crayola customer service, because I think this is an important matter that needs written documentation.

Also, a dislike for lavender does not make you a bad colorer -- I dislike many shades in the crayon box, and there are several I have never used for anything at all -- but it might make you a bad queer person! Lavender is the queerest shade ever!

(Note: I am kidding. You are an excellent queer person.)

Posted by: Michael (ftmichael)
Posted at: August 7th, 2008 04:02 pm (UTC)

Oh, orchid! Another colour I was never fond of. ;) I think they're lying to us about the differences between some of those shades. It reminds me of an episode of Frasier where Frasier and Niles were preparing for a party, and Niles was telling Frasier just how much to dim the lights: 'A little more, a little more ... a little less ...' Frasier gave up and walked away from the light switch, but Niles didn't see him and kept going 'Less ... just a little more ... a little more ... there, that's perfect!'

Perhaps you could work out a trade with someone who has an older box of crayons, and give them the shades you don't like in exchange for shades you're so desperately missing.

I quite agree about the written documentation! Let us know what their form letter personal response says.

*hides my queer membership card so you cannot steal it and turn it in* I am such an excellent queer person! I like rainbows! I swear!

Posted by: the girl with violets in her lap (slammerkinbabe)
Posted at: August 7th, 2008 04:13 pm (UTC)

And then Frasier says "Good!", halfway across the room from the light switch. :) Oh, man, you made a Frasier reference, so I can't disagree with you. What I'll say instead is that some of the colors, especially on the blue-purple spectrum, are insufficiently distinct -- I won't say that any of them are *exactly* the same, because in my experience they are not, but they can be awfully close. And this really should change, because it means that, for example, the red spectrum gets the shaft. Like I said: three shades of dark red. A lot of purpley-fuchsia-ish shades, but maroon and brick red and red itself are they only deep red shades that exist, before you start heading into either fuchsia or orange.

I also have a hard time imagining that anybody would be willing to trade something as beautiful as mulberry for, like, JAZZBERRY JAM or NEON CARROT. They're just... ugh! Seriously, do even kids like these horrible fluorescent shades? Or do they just like the names? I never liked the weirdly unnatural bright colors when I was a kid. My favorite colors were forest green, brick red, pine green and maroon.

Also, my least favorite shade ever was carnation pink. It was the only pink they put out (I considered lavender to be a purple) and I HATED it. One time I sent my little brother on a mission to find me a pink crayon, somewhere in the house, that wasn't carnation pink. We were a Crayola household, so of course he couldn't find one, but he searched half the day before he found a broken one where the name was gone. I was suspicious, but consented to use it.

Posted by: Michael (ftmichael)
Posted at: August 7th, 2008 04:17 pm (UTC)

Lavender is absolutely a purple! I don't like pink at all, and have never been very fond of pastel colours - and I've never liked the unnaturally bright stuff. I guess someone somewhere likes it.

I hope you gave your brother some cookies for searching the house for half a day to find you a pink crayon.

Posted by: the girl with violets in her lap (slammerkinbabe)
Posted at: August 7th, 2008 04:29 pm (UTC)

I was six and he was four and I think we were playing a game where he was my servant for the day. Service to me, Queen Kylie, was more than reward enough for the boy.

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