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April 27, 2011

Violette Pensée Ink Mixing Part 2

My first attempt at purple ink mixing was a recipe of 5 parts J. Herbin Violette Pensée and 1 part another ink. The results were pretty much all different shades of purple, so I wondered what results I would get increasing the amount of other ink. This new experiment is a recipe of equal parts J. Herbin Violette Pensée and another color of ink. Results were more varied this time.

I wasn’t surprised to see that equal parts Violette Pensée and J. Herbin Perle Noir (black) made black with purple undertones.

Violette Pensée and J. Herbin Rose Cyclamen (magenta) together made a purple that is brighter, lighter, warmer and pinker than Violette Pensée on its own. This scan makes it look a lot bluer than it actually is. I used to have a shirt exactly this color in high school.

A rather pleasing royal blue color results from the combination of J. Herbin Bleu Pervenche (cyan) and Violette Pensée.

Kind of a murky golden brown is produced by Violette Pensée and J. Herbin Bouton D’Or (yellow).

Violette Pensée and J. Herbin Lierre Sauvage (green) together make an interesting gray-green shade. The scan mostly fails to show the green tint to this mix.

J. Herbin 1670 Anniversary ink (red) with Violette Pensée makes a dark red-brown or red-black color.

A dark maroon-brown results from Violette Pensée and Edelstein Mandarin (orange) ink.

If I was going to choose one of these to mix and fill my pen with it would have to be the Lierre Sauvage combination because of its unusual shade. I like it even though it’s darker and more conservative than the colors of ink I often use. I think I would also enjoy the red-black color of the 1670 Anniversary ink mixed with the purple or the maroon produced by the Edelstein Mandarin.

What is your favorite ink mixing recipe?

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April 20, 2011

Our Best Selling Fountain Pen Under $50.00

It probably comes as no surprise to many of our readers that the LAMY Safari is our best selling fountain pen under $50.00. Whether you are considering buying your very first fountain pen, or are looking for a good daily writer, this might be just the pen you are looking for. It’s the right combination of an inexpensive price combined with very good quality. What makes the LAMY Safari fountain pen so popular?

  • Quality stainless steel nib is available in extra-fine, fine, medium and broad
  • Nib is easy to exchange and can be purchased separately
  • Calligraphy nibs in 1.1mm, 1.5mm and 1.9mm are also available for the Safari
  • A converter can be purchased separately that allows you to use bottled ink
  • The LAMY Safari comes in many colors ranging from bright & fun to conservative
  • Durable ABS plastic body
  • Ink window allows you to see when your ink level is running low
  • Specially designed ergonomic grip
  • Large clip allows you to attach this pen to many places
  • Extra parts are available from LAMY USA
  • MSRP is now $35.00, but it can be purchased for less at many stores including Writer’s Bloc

If you’re wondering what other writers think of the LAMY Safari, here are a few quotes from the plethora of online reviews:

Brian at Office Supply Geek says: “The thing that makes the Lamy Safari such a great beginner fountain pen in my opinion is not only that it offers quality and flexibility with a very smooth writing experience, but it is also a pen that you will want to use regardless of what other fountain pens you have around.”

John from Coffee-Stained Memos concludes: “I highly recommend the Lamy Safari to anyone wishing to take the plunge into fountain pen writing. In fact, I would recommend this pen to anyone who likes fountain pens.”

Brad at Miscellany & Cacophony discusses in detail the design of the LAMY Safari and concludes: “Now, if you don’t have a Lamy Safari, go get one! And if you already have one, get another! You won’t regret it.”

Do you own one or more LAMY Safaris? What do you think of this popular fountain pen? What is your favorite Safari color?

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April 13, 2011

We Love Pencil Pouches!

How many times has this happened to you, you're at a business meeting or getting ready to take a test, you reach into your pocket or backpack and find that you’ve forgotten your pen or pencil. The feeling of panic rushes over you and you frantically search around the room hoping that someone has an extra pen or pencil for you to borrow. Eventually you resort to using a half broken pencil, an almost dried out pen, and if worse comes to worst, a crayon. Been there. Done that. Fortunately I have found the perfect solution to prevent the pre-meeting/pre-test “oh my goodness I forgot my pencil” panic - pencil pouches! Pencil pouches are a fantastic way to organize your writing instruments and keep them all in one place. No more searching through the depths of your backpack or briefcase, simply whip out your trusty pencil case and get to writing! Just remember to bring your pencil pouch!

Small pencil cases are great for throwing into purses, backpacks, and briefcases. They are easy to find and sized to fit the essentials. The Clairefontaine Basic Leather Pen Case is perfect for everyday use. This pencil case from the Clairefontaine Basics line, also known as "Age Bag" in Europe, is made of soft sheep leather (or “cuir mouton” if you're fancy) and is available in three different styles and colors. The square case holds about 15 pens, the trapezoid case holds about 12 pens, and the oval holds about 10.

Some may think that pencil pouches are a bit feminine, but the acclaimed Aston Leather company has created a pencil case for even the manliest of men. Aston Leather pencil pouches are dark in color and are made of thick cow leather. Waterproof and scratch resistant, these pencil pouches will withstand all the elements and last a lifetime. The Rhodia ePURE pencil case is another manly case made of black leather embossed with the Rhodia logo. Its slim, flat shape makes it easy to slip into a briefcase.

Large pencil cases are ideal for elementary school children. The Atomic Soda Minilabo pencil pouches are perfect for large pencils, colored pencils and are also large enough to fit erasers and pencil sharpeners.

Let us know what you keep your pencils in!

April 06, 2011

Student Calligraphy and Fountain Pens

We were recently contacted by a schoolteacher who wanted to introduce her students to the "lost art" of calligraphy and writing with a fountain pen. She was looking for supplies that were both affordable and capable of withstanding the wear and tear of her students. Fortunately, Writer's Bloc carries a wide selection of calligraphy supplies and fountain pens that are tailored to the needs of students. Our hope is that introducing students to calligraphy and fountain pens will bring about a newfound appreciation for writing. Here are some ideas for teachers and students who want to try their hand at calligraphy and using fountain pens.

Platinum Preppy Fountain Pens

The Platinum Preppy Fountain Pen is a good choice for a first fountain pen. This fountain pen is of good quality for its price and is a great way to supply the classroom with affordable quality fountain pens. Students will be able to choose from an array of colors and find one that suits them best. (Also available as set of seven pens.)

Pelikano Junior Fountain Pen

The Pelikano Junior Fountain Pen is great for our aspiring little writers since this pen is specially designed for children. The Pelikano Junior Fountain Pen is available in four different colors and is also available with a left-handed nib for all the left-handed writers.

LAMY Safari Fountain Pen

For older students, the LAMY Safari is a popular choice. This fountain pen is a favorite daily writer of both teachers and students around the world. The LAMY Safari fountain pen comes in several colors and different nib sizes.

Pelikan Script Calligraphy Pens (set of 3)

For those new to calligraphy the Pelikan Script Calligraphy Pen is a nice starter pen. This set of three is great for the classroom and includes nibs of three different sizes.

Introduction to Calligraphy Lettering Cards

The Introduction to Calligraphy Lettering Cards from Brause are a useful guide for practicing Calligraphy. Introduce your students to nine different lettering styles and let them teach each other!

French Rule Paper

Many teachers and students in the USA are unfamiliar with the French ruled paper commonly used by students in France and other countries. This paper is an excellent tool for anyone who wants to learn cursive writing, to improve their handwriting or to practice calligraphy. For more information about French rule paper you may wish read one of our previous blog posts: What is French Ruled Paper?

Do you love writing as much as we do? What tools do you personally find useful to help students and others to develop the art of calligraphy and handwriting?

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