Do you string fairy lights across your cubicle wall or put a tree on your desk to get into the spirit of the season? If not, maybe its time to put a little holiday cheer in the office? Hang some decorations from your bulletin board or wall.
Maybe download some printable stationery “From the Desk of Santa Claus” to write your lists and notes?
Hang a wreath or a stocking from your chair or on the wall in your office?
Or for an understated sense of holiday cheer, download a desktop wallpaper and tune into a holiday radio station or Spofity playlist and sing along to a little Bing?
The gold standard for graphite erasers is the Steadtler Mars Plastic. I’m not sure if its filled with unicorn horn powder or what but I’ve never found a better eraser. So I was wondering if I could figure out a way to make a replacement eraser for my Palomino Blackwings. It turns out, I can.
- Staedtler Mars Plastic Eraser (standard size, available at any art supply store)
- X-acto or other craft blade
- Cutting matt
- Eraser from Palomino Blackwing to use as a guide
The end of a Mars eraser is just about the same width as the Blackwing eraser so I just needed to slice off an similar width piece and then trim the excess. Then slide your newly created eraser into the clamp and slide it into the ferrule.
The new white eraser is a little flimsier than the black/pink/colored erasers that you can buy to fit but it erases much better so I’m willing to accept its shortcomings for better erasing power. One Stadetler Mars eraser can easily make refills for about a dozen pencils.
Remember a few weeks ago I was a little sad about the fabulous Esterbrook #2442 Falcon nib that Cliff sent to me because it was scratchy and didn’t always put ink on the paper? And then remember last week I posted the FPGeeks Nib Tuning video? Well, I decided it was time to marry up those two things and I would attempt to tune that pesky nib.
I own a few folding loupes which are not as high-end as the ones shown in the video but at least I could get a look at the tines and see if there was anything wrong. There was! The tines seemed a little twisted, like crossing your fingers. Using the technique demonstrated in the video, I press the tines to the feed and used my nails to gently bend the tines. Then I tested on paper and noticed an improvement in writing already, but it was still scratchy. So I peeked with the loupe and pushed a bit more with my fingers and tried again. Ink was flowing much more consistently but still scratchy.
I confess that I immediately recognized the buffing block in the video to be a high end nail salon product. So I grabbed the nail buffer I had in the bathroom and decided to use the smoothest side first marked “Shine Nail” to cause the least damage. I did that a couple times and tried on paper again. Still scritchy. I went to side #3 “Buff Nail” and did a few more strokes and then applied it to paper again.
Voila! It’s now a fully functional nib. Its not quite as smooth as my age old #2442 but its light years better and completely usable. I plan to do more writing with it now that the flow is good and consistent and if it need more smoothing later, I feel confident I can solve my issues.
The cast of FPGeeks video podcast got together with Brian from the Edison Pen Company to discuss and demonstrate methods for tuning pen nibs. After watching this, I am feeling brave enough to tackle a few troublesome pens in my collection.
Its a pretty long video but worth watching. Brian is super knowledgeable and gives great instruction.
With a simple canvas tote and a some thread, you can easily make a notebook-style tote bag. Stitch the blue lines with a sewing machine, a little wonky gives it character and then use embroidery thread to create the vertical red margin line using a simple embroidery stitch like backstitch, running stitch or stem stitch. How charming!
(via Say Yes To Hoboken. For stitching tips, check out Sublime Stitching)
I found this vintage metal Kodak film canister in my stash recently and wondered if it would hold some of my European short ink cartridges.
It does. Acutally, it easily holds 14 if you alternate directions. The cap screws on nicely and keeps the cartridges from getting knocked around in the bottom of my bag while keeping any potential leaking contained (not that I’ve ever had a cartridge leak but just in case). For my recent trip I wanted to have some ink options but didn’t want to deal with the potential mess of packing a bottle of ink. This method let me bring several different colors with no mess.
The canister also lets me play “ink roulette” since I filled it with several different colors but did not label anything so its anyone’s guess which color I’ll pull out.
I imagine newer plastic 35mm plastic canisters would also work as a good place to stash a few cartridges too. How do you carry spare cartridges?
If your desk, drawers and cubbies are filled with as many pens, pencils and various desk implements as mine, this quick and easy DIY project might be just the thing to corral all of them neatly. Using a shoebox covered with paper or cloth, fill it with various sized cradboard tubes from paper towels, bathroom paper or maililng tubes cut to different lengths and fill the box. Then insert your tools and voila! Tidy desk and you can see and access that massive pen collection easily.
My BFF Rebecca (AKA Squirrel Junkie) is a genius. She made tablet covers from old hardback book covers. She walks you through all the steps needed to create your own vintage book cover for your favorite digital device. Vintage style, modern tools. Brilliant!
Does you whiteboard eraser work poorly and leave you with ghosted writing from your previous notes, meeting or brainstorm? I know ours sure did until one of my clever co-workers grabbed a baby wipe in an effort to clean off the whiteboard. Lo and behold, the whiteboard was completely spotless and looked brand new. We use unscented baby wipes with moisturizers, to my co-worker’s point, “When I have to wipe off as many whiteboards, as often as I do, I want my hands moisturized.”
Our only tip is to wait a couple minutes for the board to dry a little but we have a theory that the moisturizers and whatnot in the wipes actually make the board easier to write on rather over water on a paper towel.
The new Palomino Blackwing Pearl Review is coming! Check out these great photos from Pencil Revolution while you wait.
And finally, I hope you will all take a moment to read and comment on 13-year-old Kayte’s post on how she became a pen addict. Its inspiring to see her enthusiasm and passion. Let’s support her!