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December 30, 2009

Bob's Your Uncle

"Eight days a week, I lo-o-o-ve you..."

A phrase first coined by The Beatles has been adopted by the fellow Brits of Bob's Your Uncle to create an awesome organizational system. The moment these new Bob's Your Uncle products arrived at our store I was in love!

Bob's Your Uncle is a Boston-based company run by a graphic designer and a former-shoes designer, their creativity combined with a dash of humor and practicality creates products that are fun and functional.

I am especially excited about the 8-Days-A-Week Planner Journal. Firstly, I love that it is undated, spiral-bound, and large enough for me to write everything I need to write. The layout of this planner is clean and colorful, and I find the half-hour increments to be perfect for planning my days (particularly when I have work, class, errands, and other events all in the same day). Bob's Your Uncle trademark "Someday" is the eighth day of the week, and I imagine that I will use this column to write everything from "Go to Ecuador" to "Wash my car." Finally, I appreciate that the paper is derived from responsibly managed forests (as are all their other paper products).

Try out this great new line of Bob's Your Uncle products and let us know what you think!

December 22, 2009

It's Been A Great Year!

It's almost time to say goodbye to 2009! It has been a fun and exciting year here at Writer's Bloc, and we just wanted to say thank you for all your loyal support! We hope that you were able to find something to help organize your life or simply brighten up your day :) Here are some of the kind words that customers have shared this year:

"... the Writer's Bloc folks completed the orders with utmost efficiency--I received exactly what I had ordered, at a good price, with the items shipped within 24 hours of my order, well packed and with fast shipping. I couldn't have asked for more!... I highly recommend the Writer's Bloc." M.C., CA

"Fantastic across the board: from the website, selection, price, and shipping. Great blog, too. It's why I keep coming back to Writer's Bloc. Thanks!" K.C., CA

"Writer's Bloc went out of their way to accommodate a special request for a Clairefontaine watercolor pad that I have fallen in love with... I have recommended them on my blog and will continue to order from them in the future! Bravo Writer's Bloc!" M.J., WA

"WritersBloc is a fun website. It's like shopping in a boutique. I happened onto this site because they carry my favorite fountain pen inks (Noodlers), and I found a lot of other carefully selected, fun, high-quality, and reasonably priced items. I have also found the site to be very helpful..." G.C., CA

"Great seller. Great items." J.B., PA

We've added some great new items to our selection this year! We started with expanding our line of Quo Vadis planners to include the Habana, Soya and Equology covers in many shapes, sizes, and formats (all of which are now available for 2010!). Rhodia also added the Webnotebook and some great planners with the Rhodia Weekly Notebooks. Other new products from our favorite brands include the Basics and Mlle No collections from Clairefontaine, and new colors from Noodler's Ink like Bad Blue Heron, Periwinkle, Le Reine Mauve, and Polar Brown. Most of these items were flying off the shelves as fast as we could stock them, so we hope you are enjoying them!

Our family of fountain pens also grew this year. We were very excited to add Aurora and Platinum to our luxury fountain pen repretoire, as well as new pens from the Pelikan Sourveran and Tradition lines. A customer expressed interest in getting a fountain pen for her kids; we did some research and decided to carry the LAMY ABC and Pelikan Pelikano Junior fountain pens. Now any member from your family can find a fountain pen to suit their needs!

Finally, we have been working on increasing our selection of Eurogames from brands like Rio Grande Games, Mayfair Games, Queen Games, and Z-Man games. Our personal favorites are Settlers of Catan, Carcassonne, and Bohnanza... and there are many more to come!

Actually, we have a lot of great things in store for 2010. We will be carrying organizational products from Bob's Your Uncle (all of which I have decided that I must own), notebooks from Picadilly and Whitelines, and leather pen cases from Libelle.

We would love to hear your feedback on your favorite products of the year, and what you would like to see on our site in 2010! Please leave us a comment and tell us your thoughts!

Thank you all again for a fantastic year! Happy writing in 2010!

 

December 16, 2009

Lime Green Fountain Pen Ink Recipe

One of my favorite custom-mixed fountain pen ink colors is lime green. It's a happy, energizing color that makes me think of the first buds of spring. I like using 5 parts Noodler's Yellow Ink with 1 part Noodler's Navajo Turquoise to create the lime green fountain pen ink shown in this picture. It's a nice bright green, yet it is dark enough to use on a regular basis in my fountain pens. This sketch is made in an Exacompta silver edged sketchbook which contains some of my favorite paper for use with a fountain pen. I used my Pelikan Pelikano fountain pen with a left-handed nib as well as a fountain pen from Japan with a very fine nib. For my extra fine point fountain pens I like to use a tiny little bit extra Navajo Turquoise in the mix.

A similar lime green ink color can be made using the same proportions of ink and J. Herbin Bouton D'or and J. Herbin Bleu Pervenche. If you prefer using cartridges or you don't like ink mixing, J. Herbin Vert Pré is a light lime green color available in both standard universal cartridges and bottles. I find that Vert Pré ink looks best when used with a medium or broad nib.

December 09, 2009

Blackest Black Fountain Pen Inks

We know that many of our readers love to use the deepest, darkest, most intense black fountain pen ink that you can find. Writer's Bloc decided to do a simple comparison of some popular black inks and then pass the results on to you.

In this test we used a Clairefontaine drawing pad, a Brause calligraphy pen and a Q-tip.

Here are some characteristics of each ink:

Aurora Black - A true black color, good flow, not waterproof.
Pelikan Brilliant Black - Kind of a grey-black, not waterproof.
Noodler's Black - A warm black color, "bulletproof", has a "creamy" feel against the paper.
Noodler's Borealis Black - Water resistant, very penetrating.
Noodler's Heart of Darkness - "Bulletproof", dries with a tiny bit of shine.
LAMY Black - A cool black with blue undertones, not waterproof.

In our opinion, the top three blackest black fountain pen inks are the Aurora, Noodler's Borealis Black and Noodler's Heart of Darkness. Alan's favorite is the Borealis Black. What's your favorite intensely dark black ink? (Click on the picture below to enlarge it.)

December 02, 2009

Aurora Fountain Pens

Aurora Optima Fountain Pen
Aurora has been producing finely crafted fountain pens and luxury goods in Torino, Italy since 1919 and has become the most prestigious writing instrument manufacturer in Italy. Aurora was founded by a rich textile merchant who had long dreamed of creating this company and the first true Italian fountain pen. From the beginning, Aurora was known for producing some of the finest made in Italy products using high quality materials such as platinum, gold, silver, diamonds, emeralds and other precious stones.

Aurora's style combines artistic tradition and Italian design in the production of their writing instruments. Much detailed and skilled hand-work goes into the manufacture of all of their own fountain pen parts including gold and steel nibs. Their line of pens ranges from the fabulous Diamond fountain pen, crowned by an exquisite diamond cabochon and one thousand nine hundred and nineteen "Fourc" certified De Beers diamonds to create the most exclusive, valuable writing instrument in the world, to reasonably priced school pens and everyday pens such as the Ipsilon and Style.

Aurora also manufactures elegant leather goods such as pen pouches, wallets, organizers, handbags and more. They have created a line of paper goods that are an identical reproduction of the paper used in the royal courts of Europe. Aurora wishes to continue to be an interpreter of good taste, technological innovation and all the style that has marked the history of Italian taste, customs and design.

Writer's Bloc is happy to introduce Aurora Fountain Pens to the collection in our shop.


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