Letter Writing and Postal Follies:
Pen & Ink:
Notebooks & Paper:
There were lots of hard-to-categorize bits of wonderfulness on the pen-blogospere this week including the epic link list from the Pen Addict Podcast Gift Guide Episode (#81) which is a link list onto itself.
Letter Writing and Post:
Pardon my repeated turns to digital recently. As computers, cell phones and tablet devices are as much a part of our working life as pens, paper and staplers, I feel its worthwhile to include references occasionally.
As we all know here, “The reports of my (pen) death have been greatly exaggerated.” However, NPR decided to report on the demise of the pen market. The story featured Milwaukee’s Daly’s Pen Shop, in business since 1924. The story isn’t as gloom-and-doom as I thought it would be though it did startle some folks in the comments with the prices for a decent fountain pen (prices mentioned in the story included a $295 Visconti and talk of a Montblanc for $1000). Also mentioned is a $40 Cross pen and a $150 Pilot Vanishing Point.
I was not familiar with Daly’s Pen Shop prior to the story. The customers seem to make the trek to Daly’s because it has such a cool vintage vibe. I definitely have to take a trip up to Milwaukee to visit Daly’s Pen Shop. Sounds like my kind of place.
Have a listen to the story and then read all the comments that listeners have left. Would you rather have a great fountain pen or a new iPhone? I don’t think the two are mutually exclusive but right now, I’d rather have a new pen.
Thanks to former Hallmarker and lettering artist Chris Purcell for this lovely greeting for Fountain Pen Day. UK-based Pen Heaven has a lovely list of fountain pen facts to share today.
Show your fountain pen pride today! Or maybe use today as an excuse to buy that new pen you’ve been eyeballing.
Two big pen- and paper-related events are happening on November 1. There is the second annual Fountain Pen Day so its time to dust off your collection, clean ‘em or refill them and show your fountain pen pride. And then there’s the annual NaNoWriMo, AKA The National Novel Writing Month, which starts on November 1 and hopes to inspire and challenge anyone who’s considered writing a novel to devote the month of November to getting it on paper. If you’re more inclined to knit than write, you can join me and the other fiber-obsessed for NaKniSweMo (National Knit a Sweater in a Month) over on Ravelry. We use lots of pens, pencils and highlighters to annotate our patterns and keep track of our stitches.
So, how can I inspire you to participate in these upcoming events?
7 Ways to Make the Most of NaNoWriMo (via European Paper)
November 1 is Fountain Pen Day (via Fountain Pen Day)
Paper & Notebooks:
Pencil acquisitions from Kinokuniya (via Paper Pastries)
Pens and Pencils:
Paper & Notebooks:
Tiny Post Offices Print (via Power and Light Press , shoutout to Paper Pastries)
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.
I am finally getting around to reviewing some of the dozens of inks I’ve accumulated. The first up was a random grab from the stash, Pilot Iroshizuku Ku-Jaku ($28 per bottle) which is a bright peacock blue. I’ve been using it in a variety of pens over the past week. Its a bright, deep turquoise blue.
Pilot Iroshizuku inks are very lubricated inks. At least that’s what I first noticed about it compared with some of the other inks I’ve used like Diamine or J. Herbin. This makes it an excellent option for fine-nibbed pens like Japanese fountain pens. I also think it would be a good choice for finicky, easily-clogged pens or older pens. I’ve been trying out another Iroshizuku in some of my Esterbrooks and it works excellently.
On some lower-quality papers though, the inks were too too saturated and spread a bit.
The price seems steep but the colors are clean, flow well and super-lubricated. Clearly, its a worthy investment but good inks require good paper.
Tested on Quo Vadis Habana bright white paper with a TWSBI Mini EF and a Nemosine Singularity 0.6mm italic nib.
(via Jet Pens)