Thursday, April 28, 2016

Sketch Wizard

The boys had a surprise Teacher Planning Day Monday and since I am on closing shift this week and not going in until around noon, I got to spend a little bit of extra time with them before starting the long week of late nights without getting to tuck them in. After dropping Clementine off at school and going to the grocery, Elise realized she needed CDs and sleeves to send out client photos from her recent Cherry Blossom sessions, so the four of us walked over to Staples.

Elise needed about four CDs—definitely not more than 10—but the smallest pack they had at Staples was a pack of 50. That’s when we all took the palm of our hands to our foreheads in a “Aww-I-shoulda-hada-V8” moment…why didn’t we juts order them off Amazon. We had a long fun weekend of soccer, grilled paella, country music, and a suburbian cookout at old friends’ house from Brasilia. A quiet morning at home was just what the doctor ordered. You can’t plan every moment of your lives, as we discovered once we found ourselves aimlessly wandering the aisles of Staples with no particularly agenda once we decided we could do all of the shopping we needed to do online.

The man behind the help desk even asked us, “Can I help you find anything?”

To which I had to respond, “No. We’re just looking.”

Looking? Who goes to Staples to browse the aisles? Particularly odd since we weren’t in any immediate need of office supplies (except CDs).

The man helpfully informed us that the Clearance items were shoved against the back wall, so we wandered back there to see if we could find any coloring books on clearance.

On our way, we came across the other art supplies, modeling clay, colored pencils, and the like. On the shelves was an interesting device from Crayola called the Sketch Wizard. We were all enthralled. By looking through a specially-designed, patent-pending lens, and several sets of specially-designed, patent-pending mirrors, one can create two-dimensional drawings of three-dimensional images.

The possibilities came to us instantly. Pete: “I can draw my vulture Lego!” Sam: “I can draw my Pokemon cards (still two-dimensional, but whatever. The point is the sky’s the limit).

We were intrigued. We wanted to but it. But I didn’t want to make an impulse purchase.

“How much is it?” I asked.

There was no price tag.

Elise looked it up on Amazon. “It’s $16 on Amazon,” she said.

“Okay,” I picked up the box, “Let’s go see how much it is here.”

When it was our turn to check out, I asked the cashier for a price check, telling the boys that if it were more than $16 that we were going to order it off Amazon for next-day delivery. “$25,” she told me.

We left Staples empty handed, but as soon as we got home, Elise opened the Amazon app up on her phone and ordered the Sketch Wizard (and CDs).

Sure enough, it came the next day, as promised, but next-day shipping was $8, so we just about ended up spending $25 anyway and having to wait a day.

But it was worth the wait. The kids were immediately drawing Star Wars men and dinosaurs. Even Clementine can use it (though she is currently very unhappy with the sharing rotation—oldest to youngest—Sam then Pete then Clementine). I wasn’t exactly sure how it would work, but when you look through the viewfinder, you see a ghost image of your pencil somehow superimposed over the three-dimensional object. It’s pretty amazing, and—according to Elise—worth all of $25 if it only kept them occupied for the first afternoon we had it(when I was working late and not home).  

Pete has created the first masterpiece, a dinosaur rock band: 

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