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May 26, 2009

Orange Deer

orangedoe500.jpg

Here's another sketch from my fountain pen drawing project. This color of orange ink is a very simple recipe created by using 2 parts Noodler's Yellow and 1 part Noodler's Shah's Rose. The ink flow made drawing easy using a Preppy Fountain Pen and a Clairefontaine Drawing Pad.

When I went to Neskowin, Oregon last August, I woke up to find this deer outside my bedroom window. She was just sitting in the yard chewing away with a fawn nearby. Definitely one of the highlights of a relaxing weekend at the rugged and beautiful Oregon coast.

May 19, 2009

Gifts for Grads!

 

Graduation season is officially upon us! Here are some gift ideas to help your grads move on to their next step, whatever that may be.

Laptop Skin 

One of the many perks of starting college is often a new laptop. One fun way to personalize a laptop is with unique laptop skin.

Cooking Diary

Encourage your grad to branch out from fast food and ramen noodles when they move out by giving them this fun cooking diary. You can start it by writing in recipes for their favorite foods, and hopefully they'll fill it with new recipes of their own.

Travel Journal

What a better time to travel than right after high school when responsibilities are low and possibilities are endless? Send your grad on their senior trip with this great travel journal and they'll have memories to look back on for years to come.

LAMY Safari Pen

The LAMY Safari pen is a great gift for anyone, anytime. Hopefully having an awesome pen will encourage grads to continue writing and studying hard. 

Congrats to the CLASS OF 2009! Best wishes on whatever you plan to do next!

May 12, 2009

Is it safe to take a fountain pen on an airplane?

Fountain pen users love to travel just as much as everyone else, so why not travel with your fountain pen even when you fly! There is the possibility that a fountain pen will leak in-flight when the air pressure in the plane cabin drops and the higher air pressure inside the pen forces ink out of the nib. However, there are some simple steps that can be taken to reduce or eliminate this risk.

First of all, it can help to travel with your fountain pen either completely full of ink (the air expands, not the ink) or completely empty (no ink, no leaks). Using cartridges with your pen is practical because you can travel with a new cartridge and an empty pen and insert the cartridge after you land.

It is best if you bring your fountain pens in your carry-on baggage instead of putting them inside your checked bags. For extra safety, put them inside ziploc bags and store them with the nib pointing up.

I've flown with both LAMY and Preppy fountain pens with varying amounts of ink in the cartridges and not had any problems other than a tiny bit of extra ink appearing on the LAMY nib. Alan has flown with a Kaweco Sport fountain pen containing a full cartridge as well as LAMY pens with only partially full cartridges and not had any leaks. The only problem Alan has encountered was with an eyedropper fill Kaweco pen that was not completely full of ink. This pen leaked small beads of ink during the flight. Do any of you have a flying with fountain pen experience that you would like to share with us?

 

May 05, 2009

Thank You Teachers!

We would have little use for great notebooks and awesome pens were it not for the teachers that taught and inspired us to read and write when we were in school, wouldn't you agree? That is why Writer's Bloc wants to thank all our wonderful teachers during TEACHER APPRECIATION WEEK (May 3-9) with a sale from May 6-May 11, 2009.

As a student in a rigorous teacher preparation program I have seen that a lot of the unique products offered at Writer's Bloc to be helpful in the classroom. Here is a list of my favorites and why I love them. All of these products will be ON SALE as weekly specials from May 6-May 11! Show your teachers, your children's teachers, and your fellow teachers that you appreciate their hard work with a fun (and useful!) gift. Or, if you are a teacher take advantage and stock up!

Exacompta Club Leatherette Journal

In my experience organized teachers are the most effective. This is a quality I have yet to perfect, but keeping a planner helps immensely. With the format of the 365 undated planner teachers can plan their day to the hour and have ample space to make notes about lessons. It's undated so pages never have to be wasted (for those not-so-organized days) and covers come in a gorgeous array of colors so each teacher can have this great his or her favorite.

STAEDTLER Non-Photo Pencil

This cool pencil writes in a light blue line that is easy to read not reproduced by most photocopiers. Teachers can mark up a worksheet with notes and answers and then use that same sheet to make clean copies for their students! No more worrying about keeping one blank copy on hand, now your master copy is the only one you need.

Clairefontaine Wirebound French Ruled Notebook

European students use French Ruled paper to help them improve their handwriting; teachers could certainly learn this method and use it to help their own students. However, when I looked at this paper I automatically thought, "that looks like a grade book!" I still believe in paper grade books and think this format could be very versatile and be made to fit any grading needs from checks to full paragraph comments.

I would have student names down the side and assignments across the top (then I could just cut off the side edge of the next page so I wouldn't have to write names over and over). I don't have problems with tracking with my eyes, but I thought that using different colored pens or a little time with a straight-edge could help those who do.

Platinum Preppy Fountain Pen

I enjoy grading papers more if I am using a fun colored pen, but I find that even with certain pens my hands start to tire half-way through the stack and my notes start getting a little sloppy. Fountain pens allow you to write without having to apply hardly any pressure to the pens, saving your fingers from fatigue and unsightly calluses. The Platinum Preppy fountain pen is well within a teacher's budget, comes in great colors, and can be refilled with any of your favorite fountain pen ink colors.

Clairefontaine Music Notebook and Clairefontaine Large Sketchpad

Of course not to be forgotten are our wonderful music and art teachers. I so admire their love and skill for their craft, and their willingness to teach it to children. Help keep their passions alive and burning bright with these elite quality art products from Clairefontaine.

Thank you to all the teachers who inspired me to read, write, question, discover, inquire, believe, and reach-- you'll never know the full impact you've had on me.

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