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…and the DEBATE Continues!

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So you’ve heard!! – Sharpie is sponsoring a Valentine’s LOVE ♥ HATE Debate Feb. 1st thru 14th)!

For a quick recap, on Monday the conversation focused around whether or not you LOVE or HATE Valentine’s Day.  For the most part, I’m getting Lots O’ Love!  but believe me the numbers are there in terms of  Haters!  *I’ll fill you in on the official L vs H count later on!*  We also debuted the 1st set of several videos from interviews hosted on Chicago’s Maginificent Mile, featuring what people had to say about V-Day !  (You can still see Monday’s videos on Sharpie’s YouTube page, under the “Valentine’s Day -Love Hate Debate Playlist”

Now, onto Today’s topic…

      Today is all about the GIFTS!!

Valentine’s Day is different from other gift-giving holidays.  Let’s be honest, there is plenty of room for error here and sometimes our sweethearts hit the target right on, while other times we aren’t so fortunate and end up with a half eaten box of chocolates and a carnation. 

Check out our latest and greatest videos from our Michigan Ave interviews where we asked Chicagoans about their V-DAY gift giving experiences:

 

 So now that you’ve seen these vids., let’s get to talking!  Here are some topics that could stir up some debate! - However, if you have a topic of your own, go right ahead and start up the convo! 

  • “OMG! BGE (best gift ever)!!”
  • “You’ve got to be kidding…YouREALLY thought I would like this?!?”
  • Back in the Day Valentine: FavoriteValentine’s Day memory from when you were little.
  • Awkward V-Day!
  • “I left blatantly obvious clues, but he/she just didn’t get the hint!”
  • Homemade OR Store bought?  Which do you prefer?
  • ONE-OF-A-KIND Valentine: What original Valentine’s Day gifts have you received and/or given?!  *(this could go both ways, good or bad :) )

As a reminder, here’s how the debate works…

Share your thoughts, stories & all the in between:

  1. Make a video and upload it to YouTube (post a video response in the comment section) on: http://www.youtube.com/SharpieUS
  2. Join Sharpie’s Fan page and leave your comments, videos and photos on our wall: http://www.facebook.com/Sharpie
  3. Follow & share your thoughts on Twitter with @SharpieSusan! Don’t forget to add #SharpieDebate hashtag

♥ Check out SharpieUncapped for more!

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Sharpie du Jour

I’ve known for a while now that Sharpie markers are used for a wide range of purposes.  From the day to day things like taking notes and writing letters, to customizing outfits and fashion accessories, to all kinds of home decor and wall art, to gift giving and gift wrapping, the list goes on… and while I’ve done the whole labeling my tupperware, files and folders, for whatever reason, it never crossed my mind that a chef could fall madly in love with Sharpie markers too!

In fact, blogger @BehindTheKnife brought this to my attention the other day (thanks Knifey!) I checked out the blog and yes, in fact CHEFS DO LOVE SHARPIE! Don’t believe me, see for yourself.  The post is titled “The Love Tool: I Heart My Sharpies!”

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For a quick summary, four tops chefs were asked to tell their love of Sharpie markers…

1) Personal chef, Charity Dasenbrock of Santa Cruz, California, says “They’re  invaluable for my food labels since they’re highly visible and waterproof. My current client also likes things color-coded, so all the food for one meal gets labeled in one color while another meal gets a different color, which makes it fun for me”

2) Executive chef at The Boathouse Restuarant in Traverse City, MI, Eric Nittolo reveals, “The Sharpie is as important as my knife…”  Keeping it in his coat pocket, this chef uses a Sharpie to date products, write ticket orders, write on dry erase boards and even the front of the house uses Rectractable Sharpie markers to take reservations. 

“They are mere Sharpies to some but to the restaurant world they are special.”

 -Chef Eric Nittolo

3) “Because the kitchen is such a fast-paced wet/dry environment, I need something that I can count on to stay put when I write. I like to know that when I label something or set the rotation that I don’t have to worry about it disappearing..” proclaims Executive Chef Christian Thornton of Atria Restaurant in Martha’s Vineyard.  Using his Sharpie for multiple reasons, this chef  “gets upset when one walks off.”  Therefore, Thornton says, “I store them in my pockets, in every free space in the kitchen and at the hostess stand. I am never without.” 

4) Self-proclaimed Sharpie lover, Ivan Pahk, executive chef at Sansei Seafood Restaurant & Sushi Bar in Kapalua & Kihei, Maui, carries a Sharpie at all times.  “I have one in my collar at least 16 hours a day. I have one in my office, I have one roped up in the kitchen.”

While you’re at it, Behind the Knife also has a couple other recent posts giving Sharpie shoutouts: Check out Chef Michael Roberts sharing his Toolbox essentials in, and get an insider read on the Food Network star, Anthony Bourdain.

Do you use your Sharpie markers around the kitchen? Share your culinary expertise and tell us how!

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The Write Path to Green

terracycleSharpie, with Paper Mate and EXPO is proud to announce a new partnership with TerraCycle, the pioneering upcycling company that finds new ways to repurpose otherwise throwaway items.  Terracycle has become quite popular producing a range of products, including bird feeders, planters and pouches made from recycled materials like used soda bottles and juice boxes.   In fact, you’ve probablly seen some of Terracycle’s stuff before!  Either of there look familiar? 

terracycle backpack

terracycle umbrella

 

We are super excited about this particular partnership because we’re launching it off in a way that helps the environment AND your community!  In doing so we’ve created the world’s first UPCYCLING program for used pens, markers and other writing instruments, which in turn, raises funds for schools, charities and non-profits nationwide.  I mean, seriously…how many pens do have you tossed in a lifetime? – Well now you can pitch in and throw (toss, pitch, throw -get it! funny no?) your used pens, markers, etc.. towards good use!

What does the launch of the partnership entail, you ask?

In participating locales, where writing instruments are used most – primarily large corporations and schools -collection centers called “Writing Instrument Brigades” will be set up.  At these collection centers, bring in all your used product and for every writing instrument collected two cents will be donated to the school, community group, charity or non-profit organization of that Brigade’s choice.  Overall, the collection efforts will reduce landfill proliferation, educate and inspire consumers to get involved, and provice much needed funding to schools nad non-profits nationwide.

How the BRIGADE works:

The free program is available to any individual or group and is easy to operate.  Simply sign up with Terracycle (www.terracycle.net) to establish your Brigade location, then select the school, charity or non-profit group to which you want the collection funds to be directed.  Each Brigade prints a pre-paid shipping label from Terracycle’s website to ship the collected writing instruments to Terracycle for upcycling into new products.

This is a, (to quote the great Tony the Tiger) “GRRRRREAT,” simple and easy way for organizations and individuals, alike to help the environment and local communities.

*Make it easy for yourself and collect at your desk, then bring a whole bunch of used Sharpie, EXPO and Papermate markers, pens and pencils to the larger Brigade all at once!  See how quickly 2 CENTS adds up! –Here’s mine! (I used Sharpie markers to DIY a white paint can)!

 

Fill 'er UP!

Fill 'er UP!

For more information on the Writing Instruments Brigade head on over to www.sharpie.com!

 

After all he's done for you...how could you!? Give him the goodbye he deserves!

After all he's done for you...how could you!? Give him the second chance he deserves - UPCYCLE style!

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Curious Case of PENjamin Button

You’ve seen him as a small town criminal along side Thelma and Louise.

He reversed the aging process, striking  curiousity around the world…

He was a Vampire long before Twilighters ever hit the stage.

As Tyler Durden’s alter ego, he made the rules - ”The first rule of fight Club is: you do not talk about Fight Club. The second rule of Fight Club is: you do NOT talk about Fight Club.”

Attracting world-wide media attention, he’s stirred up a play-ground style Hollywood cat fight: Team Aniston vs Team Jolie, anyone?!

He’s outsmarted the Vegas strip with Clooney and Damon, not one, not two, but Eleven, Tweleve, & Thirteen times.

BUT you’ve never seen Brad Pitt in this light before…

 

Lookin' Sharpie Mr. Pitt, lookin' sharp..

Lookin' Sharp, Mr. Pitt, lookin' sharp..

What do you think, does Beckham have a little competition here??

How can Beckham make a Sharpie look so good?

How can Beckham make a Sharpie look so good?

Have any celeb snap shots with Sharpie? Share them on Facebook!

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Well I’ll be a Sharpie’s Uncle!

Artists have all different quirks, types of personalities and styles, hence such creativity and self-expression!  For instance, maybe you’re  the shy-pensive photographer, or perhaps you know a  moody- heart broken sculptor, how about those out-of-the-box, off the wall painters (Warhol anyone?).  The list can go on and on… but by chance, have you heard of The Gross Uncle?  In short, The Gross Uncle encompasses all sorts of personality and talent beyond compare (see question 3 for an accurate formula).  Unfortunately for you, Fortunately for him, there is and can be only ONE “Gross Uncle.”  Let me introduce you to him.. 

Grant Gilliland, artist, uncle and super model

Grant Gilliland: Artist, Uncle, Super Model

 

 Grant Gilliland aka “The Gross Uncle” is a cartoonist and illustrator with a style COMPLETELY his own.  One cool aspect about this artist is that at your request he will put his Sharpie marker to work, sketching anything you wish and ship it out to you for a measly 20 bucks!! (One-of-a-kind art? Yes please!  Placing my order as we stare at monitors) Turning a cool hobby into a career, Gilliland strives to enjoy life, have fun and create work that he loves, while being confident in all that he does.  Combining big talent with an even bigger personality, this young artist has a long and successful road ahead of him.  Let’s dive right into it and find out more about this Sharpie artist…   

sharpie fine pt   

 Tell me about yourself!    Hello! My name is Grant Gilliland; I have a blog called “The Gross Uncle” and I love to draw and make things.  I spend the majority of my time drawing cartoons and illustrations for all sorts of reasons…sometimes for clients, sometimes just for fun.  I am based in San Francisco, originally from Ohio, a place where I spent a great deal of time playing and being creative.  As I recall, I also went to high school there, but really all I remember is skateboarding and making funny home movies with my friends.  I also enjoy coffee, bike riding, daydreaming about absurd images, scouring the web for inspiration, and meeting new people.  How did you get started as an artist?  What kind of experience do you have?   I started my artistic career in my high chair, cranking out crayon-styled depictions of geometric cars, amorphous birds, and freakishly proportioned people. I would probably stop a minute to spit up or scream some gibberish towards the sky, then after wiping my face and getting something to drink, it was back to work… Come to think of it, not much has changed since then…besides the fact that I use a regular chair now. 

 When I was a little older, I took art classes after school and then once I got too cool (air quotes) for those, I started making comics with some of my friends.  I went to The Columbus College of Art & Design in 2001 and got super-inspired there - It’s when I started to take art a bit more seriously. After graduating with a Bachelor’s in Illustration, I balanced a part-time job as a barista with freelance work.  I started getting my feet wet and figuring out my style and eventually met up with my agent, Scott Hull in 2007.  I am still pretty new to the world of freelance illustration and am looking forward to what things I am inspired to make in the future.    

 

Gilliland's work displayed at an art show

Gilliland's work displayed at an art show

 How would you describe your personal style?  This personal style recipe yields one to two editorial illustrations, one overworked 4×4 painting and about half a dozen blog posts with too much writing, it serves an infinite number of portions if rationed correctly. 

  • 1/2 cup of season 1 Ren & Stimpy mix
  • 4 tsp of Surrealism
  • 1 page of The Maxx comic book, shredded
  • 2 small vinyl figures from Kid Robot (under $40), massaged in oil
  • 1 Sonic the Hedgehog cartridge (Sega Genesis), quartered and cut into large pieces
  • Pictoplasma to taste
  • 1 pot strong black coffee
  • sarcasm to taste

Directions:  Mix in a blender. Pour over a 4 year art-school education, slowly adding strong black coffee to the batter, while playing a post-punk mixtape in the background. Sprinkle sarcasm over the condensed result. Let bake in the California sun for four years, and enjoy.  

SharpiemanWhere do you draw inspiration from?  I spend a lot of time absorbing podcasts, YouTube videos, music, comedy albums, you name it… I just like hearing creative material from people.  If there is a sense that they know what they’re doing and have their own voice, usually I’m game to listen.  I get in these modes where I get into a certain podcast and just listen to it nonstop…even if I don’t really like it all that much or wouldn’t want someone to walk in on me listening to it.  I will go into the archives and listen to the whole thing – sometimes I will listen to the same episode several times.  I guess I’m sort of sponge-like when it comes to most things…sometimes vaguely loofa-like, but rarely.  How do you use Sharpie markers in your work?  What is your favorite Sharpie?!   I like the way Sharpie markers make a nice strong line.  I have used other pens in the past, but I always ended up coming back to Sharpie for their consistent quality.  I love the way they draw on laser jet photo paper…so smooth!  I like the regular fine-point Sharpie marker…I have about two dozen lying around at any given time. 

 Where did you come up with the idea to sell $20 Sharpie drawings?  How does this work?  wanted to sell something on my blog that was affordable and fun for me to make.  The cool thing about doing these drawings is that I get to post them on the blog and say who they are for and where they are being mailed.  People seem to like the idea, and each drawing is made just for them. Also, it’s really helped me loosen up…the more people that order the drawings, the better they will get because of all the great drawing practice I’m getting. All you need to do to get your own is email me at seegrantdraw@yahoo.com and ask! I am open to creative suggestions and I will gladly draw your dog. 

What children’s books have you illustrated for?   Just one.  The book is called “Theo” and there is a blog where you can check the whole thing out (http://theobook.blogspot.com).  The book was conceived and written by the talented author Kentucky Lim.  We are planning a whole series of books together.    

Theo

So tell me, do you have a gross uncle or are you the Gross Uncle?  Maybe I should just ask this: Where did you come up with the name for your blog? 

 I him!  He me!  We be me!

…Actually, the whole alias came about one summer when I was thinking about how great and sneaky it would be to have this “alter ego” that I could get extra illustration work as.  So there’s Grant with his cute little round style and then there’s The Gross Uncle with his bizarre, awkward, hairy drawings…and all the time it’s just one guy.  I basically scrapped the idea when I decided to use the name for my blog, so I just ended up mixing elements from the two styles over time.  Nowadays, The Gross Uncle moniker gets used the most when I participate in gallery shows…seems to fit…and it’s easier to say than my last name.   

GrossUnclebanner 

If you could design for any one person who would it be? Why?  I would design for the auto-tune machine because that’s the most popular singer these days.  Other than that, I have made a character design for my friend Donny Papermaker…he’s pretty famous on the YouTube nation. 

 I’m curious…What do you think is the “funniest looking appendage” and why?  Great question! I like the nose. That’s an appendage, right?  There are just so many great ways to make a nose…you can abstract it and add all sorts of funny joints and angles and planes that shouldn’t be there and it can really add a lot in terms of visual punch.  If your drawing is looking real good, then you could put a blue nose on a guy and it could work. 

Laser Portrait

Hippie Style

Tattoos

Are you currently working on anything that you can tell us about?  I’m finally getting back around to working on a cartoon show called “Touch Base with Gregg Sween.”  The show is basically a cartoon version of a daytime talk show…it started out as a puppet show that my friend Patrick Kouse and I did last summer.  We performed the whole show live at Fivepoints Arthouse in San Francisco – we only did it twice. We haven’t touched it for a year and now I think it’s time for us to get back in touch with our inner thespians (cue laughter here).   

Anything I didn’t ask that you would like to add?  Yes. Can you direct me to the Instant Sharpie Replacement Hotline?  That would be nice.  I’d put it on speed dial and then a Sharpie representative can send new pens to my house in 2-3 business days. You accept drawings as payment, right?  (Grant, you can reach me (the Sharpie Rep) at 1-800 illlosemyjob) -cue sarcasm here : )   

 

 Do you have any advice for other young artists? It’s always important to be into what you’re doing for the fun of it.  No matter what circumstances you are under in life, fun plays a major role.  Just being in a good mood can really negate and remove (even permanently) any real or perceived obstacles in life.  Also just keep the world up to date on what you’re doing…post blog entries about it, take progress pictures, share…being active is more important than being really good.What do you hope for in 2010?  There are some major projects that I hope to finish either this year or next…patience can be tough.  Honestly, just to be happy and satisfied with life sounds nice…to be happy with whatever I am working on without doubting it and to spend the rest of my time playing.  

He desgins shoes too!

 

  

Find out more about how Grant Uncaps What’s Inside on his website: www.seegrantdraw.com

Check out Grant’s blog: www.thegrossuncle.com!

Want more? Follow him on Twitter and take a look at more of his art on Flickr

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Yes We Canvas!

Deciding on a new piece of art can be intimidating, yes, but what if I told you that you had the option to pick out EXACTLY what you wanted.  You could tailor your art to fit exactly your needs.  We’re talking size, shape, color, patterns… Forget about spending countless hours, days, months hunting for one specific piece, not to mention you wouldn’t have to break the bank to get this art.  Sounds like a dream come true if you ask me!

Well with the new year comes new opportunity, so why not start off 2010 by hanging a one-of-a-kind “(YOUR NAME HERE)” art work on your wall that actually looks pretty spectacular!  All you will need are plain white canvases (it’s up to you how many), Sharpie markers and a bit of creativity and imagination to create art that will update any space!

An option to make this DIY project a bit easier for those who may be intimidated – just do what I did - hunt around online and search for patterns that you like and can recreate.  I found my pattern online and used an assortment of Sharpie permanent markers in Red, Navy Blue, Green and Yellow to draw on plain white, hard wood canvases (see pics below) to make my Sharpie wall art.  The great part about this is that your options are endless – you can choose to make one giant piece, several small canvases, or collect an assortment of sizes.  With so many different Sharpie colors to choose from, when it comes to color and design the choice is completely yours!

Sharpie markers used

Sharpie markers used

Reverse side of canvases

Reverse side of canvases

…What do you think?

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*Another great thing about canvas art is how free your are to arrange the pieces until you figure out what works best for you.  Have fun with it!

Do you have any Sharpie art work that you’ve made?  Share it with us on our Facebook Page or post it to SharpieUncapped!

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Ahead of the Pack

Now that we are winding down the holidays and approaching the new year, how about starting off 2010 on the right foot!  It’s important to organize all of your decorations, ornaments, lights, etc. so things don’t get lost or forgotten.  This part of the holidays can be so A-N-N-O-Y-I-N-G…Annoying!   However, it has to be done at some point and what better time than now?!  While you may feel like putting this off, keep telling yourself that you’ll be happy you got it out of the way now and next year finding things and unpacking will be that much easier!

Gather up boxes that you can neatly and carefully pack everything up into.  Here’s a tip: Re-organize storage bins to maximize space and re-use the gift boxes from the holidays instead of buying new ones to store your things in (Pictured below: a shirt box, a box that came with a mug and one large mailing box).

Label your boxes with the coordinating items inside and when putting away, arrange them so that labels are easily seen and organized for your convenience when you take them out next year! 

Ornaments label close up

all boxes and labels

edited labels close up small box

If you pack smart now you’ll be able to spend more time later doing the things you really love with family and friends!

Some holiday items to consider organizing to keep you ahead of the pack:

  • Special plates & dishes
  • Ribbons and Bows
  • Wrapping Paper
  • Greeting Cards & Gift Tags
  • Indoor/Outdoor Lights
  • Indoor/Outdoor Decorations
  • Fragile Ornaments
  • Kid-made Ornaments
  • Garland
  • Wreaths
  • Tree
  • Tree Skirt

Any questions? Ask away! 

How do you use Sharpie markers to stay organized?  Leave your comments here or on Sharpie’s Facebook page!

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How’s it Hangin?

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Most likely, you have had your tree up and decorated for some time now, right? Yeah, me too.. but I had an idea after throwing a Sharpie DIY holiday party with some co-workers, where we customized and designed holiday gift wrap, cards, boxes, ornaments and more.  Ornaments, being the biggest hit, got me thinking that this would make for a fun activity to do with friends and family on a day like Christmas!

What you’ll need:

  1. Plain ornaments (Matte-style work best)
  2. A sleigh-full of Sharpie permanent markers

Take this in whatever direction you feel like!  If you’re a group of artists, go to town and get all artsy on the ornaments.  If you all have little to no artistic talent, scribble down favorite holiday memories, funny stories or write each other’s character traits on the ornaments (hah that one could get interesting!)  Whatever you decide make it fun! With Sharpie markers and your imagination, the direction you take it is completely up to you!

These are some of the ornaments that my co-workers and I made.  As you can see, some are more detailed than others and they all still look great!

Ornaments made with Sharpie!

Ornaments made with Sharpie!

Close up!

Close up!

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Lookin' good Ornies! (we're on a nickname basis)

Sticking with the ornament theme, you may remember these bells from back in the day or maybe your kids are at that age now and have brought them home from school.  I actually made these when I was in grade school and thought since I’m older, actually have control over my hands and have legible handwriting, I could take a second stab at this..

Ring-A-Ling

Every time a bell rings...

What you’ll need:

  1. Small terra-cotta flowerpots (found at any craft store)
  2. Tiny bells (also at craft stores)
  3. Ribbon
  4. A slew of Sharpie markers (I used a combo of Sharpie Water-Based Paint markers and good ol’ fashioned Sharpie Permanent Markers(not pictured))
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Materials

Color the pots any color you’d like – and be sure to color a little on the inside too so that you don’t see any clay from an outside view (I had a ton of silver, red, blue and black, hence the color scheme – even Sharpie employees run low own product from time to time).  After coloring, embellish however you’d like!  When finished, thread the ribbon through the drainage hole to make a loop for hanging, then loop another ribbon inside the pot and attach a bell.  Now, start obnoxiously ringing your bells (heehee)!

These are the ones that I made…

O Christmas Tree

O Christmas Tree

Draw your fav mascot or go with a college theme like this one (Rock Chalk)!

Draw your fav mascot or go with a college theme like this! (Rock Chalk)

Anchors away!

Anchors away!

Lights. CAMERA. Action. Say Cheese!

Lights. CAMERA. Action.

Now, just for fun I wanted to include this…   When I was out to lunch the other day with a coworker, the restaurant we went to decorated their tree with Sharpie-made ornaments!  In a timeless and classic style, employees names were handwritten on ornaments in metallic gold Sharpie.  Take a look..

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Don't mind my brown gloves!

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Oo I like the lighting in this one!

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Sideways stocking

The Tree! Can you spot the ornaments?!

The Tree! Can you spot the ornaments?!

So what do you think?

How did you decorate for the holidays?  Post your pictures at www.Facebook.com/Sharpie, leave your name, favorite holiday memory, as well as how you used Sharpie markers this year! I’d like to write up a blog post and feature your Sharpie creations!  Can’t wait to see the pictures and hear how you celebrated!

Unwrap What’s Inside!

Happy Holidays!!

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Sharpie Seasonal Style

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Bored with your plain old laptop cover?  Well, not anymore!  You can design one just like this using Sharpie markers.  Susan Wassel (Sharpie PR/Social Media) has come up with a creative and inexpensive way to design interchangeable laptop art with packing tape and Sharpie markers!   Susan uses her favorite snowflake stencil, provided by the one and only Stencil 1, to give her personal computer a seasonal touch!  Watch as she takes you through the quick and easy step-by-step process!

 

Share your thoughts and all the ways you use your Sharpie markers to make your everyday objects stand out!

Vist SharpieUncapped.com to get more seasonal tips to make your holiday one to remember!

UNWRAP What’s Inside This Holiday Season With Sharpie!!

Happy Holidays!

Follow @Sharpiesusan on Twitter and become a Fan of Sharpie on Facebook!