Archive for the ‘Musings’ Category

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Ten Years Old And Still Going Strong

07/01/2018

Inkophile is ten years old! Can you believe it? Over 216,000 words, 250 reviews, 1,200 posts and 6,000 comments. That’s a lot of pen talk!

Fountain pens were’t always my tool of choice, but in an art store nearly twenty years ago, a disposable model caught my eye. Since then there has been no turning back.

Moving forward a few years, Ebay provided access to pens that were unavailable locally, but those thirsty suckers needed suitable nectar and that’s when I discovered Pendemonium. Through Sam and Frank, I learned about Rhodia pads and acquired a taste for J. Herbin Lie de The and Poussiere de Lune. Then came Noodler’s Black and Legal Lapis. Those early acquisitions made a fine start to my ink addiction.

Fountain Pen Network caught my interest a few years later, and after an extended period of lurking, I signed up. It was an enjoyable playground for a newbie and remains so. Back then FPN’s tolerance for intemperate and off-topic remarks led to the creation of Inkophile as a more free form and less divisive venue for pen posts. Thanks, FPN!

Even my Twitter account has been around for a decade. Recently, I put some time into refining my Twitter lists, one with over 250 artists and another with over 400 pen people. Twitter can be a cesspool so members are mostly folks who post on-topic or upbeat tweets. The lists are curated so will not only expand, but members who cease to write about relevant subjects will be removed. No aspersions cast on anyone, but the point is to see tweets related to art, pens, and things that are positive. The lists can be a treat when other areas of life are not.

Manufacturers have expanded their offerings in the past ten years well beyond anything I imagined when Inkophile was launched. There is no way to keep up with every pen and ink released making the support of retailers and distributors invaluable. In fact, Pen Chalet, Goldspot, and Exaclair have sent pens and inks recently so there are a few new items awaiting review. Much to do.

Lastly, a huge thank you to my readers who have made this blog possible. You are the best!

In order, most viewed Inkophile photos on Flickr:

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Tantrums, Boycotts, And My New Find

03/30/2018

Fed up with the tantrums, calls to boycott, and vast corporations trying to influence your thoughts? Don’t be manipulated. Instead put your purchasing power to best advantage by buying alternate products from smaller vendors and local merchants. While it might be difficult to find replacements for products from companies that have a lock on market shelves, it can be done.

Recently, I discovered Vitacost and have ordered a few times with good success. They offer over 45,000 products most of which fall in the natural and organic categories, but at very favorable prices. This week, I bought a case of canned goods for about half what I have paid at retail stores. My order was over $49 so shipping was free and it arrived in less than 40 hours! There were other discounts that saved an additional $20+. My family is trying several of the CSI and Glonaturals skin care products and so far they have proven effective and economical. Yes, my budget is very happy with this new find.

No benefit accrues to me from writing about Vitacost. But after waking this morning to yet another screamer demanding I participate in a boycott and threatening an “or else”, I couldn’t do it. I had already withdrawn my dollars from supporting those companies and a host of others. I won’t be bullied by either side on national arguments. Period. Free market principles reign and Vitacost will get my support and my money. Amazon still works for me since products from many small companies are available there.

Where do you go to get away from the chain retailers and big box shops?

Fortunately, my fountain pen and watercolor supply needs are filled by companies that have not made it to the list of entities to avoid. Hmmm. Maybe I can take some of the savings from purchases at Vitacost to further bloat my collection of inks and watercolors. Kidding, folks, just kidding. Well, sort of.

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Facebook Proves Analog Is Better

03/28/2018

Using a fountain pen on paper is the perfect antidote to the reach of Facebook’s tentacles. Zuckerberg and his minions have vowed to implement changes that should have happened years ago. If the current promise of reform makes you feel safe from data miners and prying eyes, you might believe in unicorns and fairies as well. Now wouldn’t that be an interesting world, but the one we currently inhabit lacks such elegant creatures and the fantasy that goes with them. Mere mortals, we have the reality of Facebook and its “privacy settings” that are arcane and obscure.

Should you want to lower your Facebook profile, here are some links to info about how to do it.

Now put those fountain pens to best use. Shred what needn’t be preserved and file what must be kept. Unless co-workers, family and friends decide to rifle through your shelves and drawers, your data will be secure though posterity may look askance at your rants and musings. I have put some doozies here and there in my journals. Should anyone ignore my instructions to burn the lot, they will get an earful/eyeful that ought to make them wish they hadn’t delved into my private thoughts. Oh, would I like to be a fly on the wall for that comeuppance!

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A Wishlist In Two Minutes

06/18/2017

Do you keep a wishlist? Mine took less than two minutes to compile. No pondering the question. Just a brief, whatever comes to mind list. And darned if it isn’t just right.

Try it the next time you have two minutes to spare. The results might surprise you.

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What Prompts You To Journal?

01/18/2017

What prompts you to write in your journal? Many of us start a new one in January which makes this a good month to examine and strengthen what works.

Fountain pen people may do it just for the joy of using a favorite pen or a pretty new ink. Sometimes it’s the luxurious feel of a perfectly tuned nib sliding across velvety paper. A touch of the hedonist may drive us to such pursuits, but it is good, clean fun.

It doesn’t have to be just words that make it on paper. A doodler can use a glyph or squiggle to fill lines and spaces. Watercolor may come into play, but glued on bits of ephemera count as well. Stickers, tickets and postage stamps can inspire lengthy entries or at least make the pages look satisfyingly full.

But what prompts the writer, the serious writer, to put pen to paper? What inspires that flow of words? An experience of the day, something in the news, an errant thought? Do you have a book of prompts or a theme to explore? Really, how do you do it and what do you do it with?

Writing in my journal can bring out the minimalist in me. I like using a light to medium weight pen with an ink to match the subject or something very neutral that won’t detract. Recently, four pens have graced my long sessions: two Pilot Metropolitan Mediums, a Lamy Studio Fine, and a Platinum Nice Medium. The Lamy is a little heavy for more than four or five pages, but the others are good for miles of adventure. Current inks are Iroshizuku ama-iro, Pilot Blue-Black, J. Herbin Terre de Feu and Sailor Tokiwa-matsu in the second Pilot Metro.

Today my journals include one from Paper for Fountain Pens with Tomoe River Paper, Staples Arc, a new Muji notebook and a (Midori) Traveler’s Notebook, most often a #013.

Any of these tools can prompt me to journal. Four pens, inks and journals would seem like enough variety for an inkophile. Or maybe not. The Stillman & Birn Epsilon, Stipula Verde Muschiato, and the lovely, lovely Platinum #3776 music nib are ready to go. Oh, look at that. Ku-jaku just waved at me with a charming, beauty-queen-riding-in-a-parade gesture. So much for my minimalist rotation. Is this a hopeless addiction or what!

 

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That Platinum Music Nib Gets Noodled

10/27/2016

Sometimes I wonder why we use any pen and ink save the ones that make us the most happy. This duo is not only a joy to use, but the Platinum #3776 music nib has special memories as a gift from Dick Egolf of Luxury Brands. Noodler’s Kiowa Pecan was a lucky acquisition years earlier when I was looking for a saturated and shading brown ink. Kiowa Pecan ended my search. Years later, the duo remains a favorite at the Inkophile digs…

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Ink Links Plus Flower And Bird Photos

04/03/2016

Totally on topic this week…

Outside my kitchen window, a late blooming camellia is attracting a lot of attention especially from the hummingbirds who nest in my yard every year. The hummers were reluctant to pose hence the old photos, but the flowers were less flighty if a bit bouncy riding on the March winds.

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