Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Circular Copper Paper Clips

I've been using gold paper clips for a long time, enjoying the way the color looks next to white paper as well as standing out in the midst of regular steel gray clips. Different types of clips are interesting to me, and so I was thrilled to get this small gift from frequent commenter and guest post author Jack/Youngstown of circular copper paper clips.

Jack's note along with the clips pointed out that while New York City offers so much, there might be a few things that are harder to find. And it's funny, but I don't recall seeing these paper clips in any of the stationery stores I frequent. Even more funny because they are sold by A&W Products of Port Jervis, NY, not very far from the city so you would think they'd be everywhere in Manhattan and the other boroughs.

The clips seem almost Celtic pagan in their design, as if someone just dug them up from a bog or burial site. They look great next to white paper, and there are two colors in the box of 50: regular copper color and a darker grayish color that looks a tad like pewter. Stylish, decidedly different, and fun as well--these will add some interest to my paperwork in the future.

Monday, November 28, 2011

JetPens Gift Certificate Giveaway (and more) @JetPens

Brad Dowdy, first known to all of us as the Pen Addict and more recently as the marketing chief for, has very generously offered a $10 JetPens gift certificate in a giveaway here at Pocket Blonde.

In addition, I've gone through my stash and have a second giveaway item to add to that, a new Field Notes Steno Pad, a 6 by 9 inch spiral top stenography book that's great for all your note-taking needs.

So here are the rules:

Leave a comment to this post below. Comment 1 is #1, comment 2 is #2, etc. Comments can be on anything, but please do muse on the wonderfulness of JetPens and/or Field Notes if you are so inclined.

The contest starts now and closes on Saturday noon. Two winners will be drawn using a random number generator, the first will win the JetPens gift certificate and the second will win the Field Notes Steno Pad.

Winners will be posted Saturday, December 3 around 5 pm, and they will have until Wednesday, December 7, at 5pm my time (NYC) toPost Options contact me to arrange for their gift to be sent.

If the first winner doesn't get in touch with me, then the second winner moves up a place and a new comment will be chosen for the Field Notes Steno Pad. If the second winner isn't available, then a new comment will be chose for the Field Notes Steno Pad. All decisions are final, but please do enjoy the giveaway.

Thanks again to Brad and JetPens for their thoughtfulness to Pocket Blonde's fans.

Grandluxe Fantasia Color Pad

This caught my eye at the local stationery store, and while I hardly ever use colored paper I was struck by its smoothness and deep colors. This Grandluxe Fantasia Color Pad measures 8.3 by 11.7 inches, with 70 sheets and seven beautifully rich colors to write on.

What surprised me is that it's not construction paper or something equally heavy but 80gsm writing paper, the same as a Rhodia notepad or webbie. There is a larger pad also available, as well as a memo cube that looks adorable.

I haven't tried writing on it yet, and that may be as I'm thinking of a JetPens order and one of their white ink pens might be a great way to try this out. Colored ink seems to be a must with this, but other than silver and white I don't think anything will show up on the darker colors. No matter, it's a fun pad that will definitely add something extra to your writing.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Holiday Gift Suggestions

Various holidays are fast approaching, and a particular Pen Addict had a great suggestion that I post a gift guide. Below are some ideas for gifts large and small, things I wouldn't mind giving or receiving (or both!).

First up is JetPen's Cplay Sevenroll Leather Pencil Case, which has been on my radar since they arrived. The Sweet Cherry Red leather roll case is bright and fun, but there are other colors to choose from as well. Fill it with lots of different pens, such as this Uni-ball Signo RT with blue-black ink (my favorite!), a Kaweco Sport Fountain Pen, the Lamy Safari in Charcoal Black, and the Ohto Rook Fountain Pen with a black/red body.

Also take a look at the Palomino Blackwing wooden pencils, re-introducing a much-loved classic. Since you'll need something to write on take a look at the Rhodia No. 16 dotPad. If you'd prefer a pocket memo book, then another great addition to the JetPens web site is Field Notes, so check out their offerings of Memo Books and Steno Pads. To add some color to the festivities, here's a set of glitter markers by Kuretake that look fabulous, or a set of multi-color crayon sticks.

Writer's Bloc just added the Myndology notebooks to their line up of stationery, a disc-bound notebook that's very much like Levenger's Circa notebooks but comes in jellybean colors as well as staid earth tones. Another Writer's Bloc notebook I'm very fond of is the Clairefontaine Catitude line, which just completely captures the essential nature of cats. If you know someone with a real feline and, therefore, a real litter box to take care of then Way of Cats' Littermint might be a nice gift as well (stop by the blog and say hello to Tristan and the gang). Finally, these Alice in Wonderland Screen Cleaners are both practical and totally eye-catching.

Renaissance Art has a lot of fantastic leather cases for Moleskine notebooks, Kindles, Nooks, iPads, and more, as well as their leather journals and custom work.

Doane Paper is always a great place to browse and shop, the grids + lines concept is a winner and all of the products are fantastic. I am especially fond of the three-pack of large notepads, a staple for me.

Lost Crates is a fun option, and if you're lucky and quick you might snag one of the much-anticipated Noodler's Ahab flex nib fountain pens at The Goulet Pen Company. And for the Elvis fan, Goldspot Pens has the Limited Edition Elvis rollerball showcasing Jailhouse Rock.

Next Monday there will be a giveaway post, including something from (many, manythanks for this) and a notebook or two from my personal stash (Lost Crates, anyone?). So do keep an eye out on this space. And have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Another Fantastic Post!

Went Sketching's at it again with all his talent, I'd be jealous if I wasn't so tongue tied.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Submit Your December Carnival Post

I am hosting the December Carnival of Pen, Pencil and Paper, with the post going up on Tuesday, December 6. Entries are due by Sunday, December 4, you can submit here.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Pilot Timeline Gel Ink Pen

Got an email from Tokyo Pen Shop that mentioned a new pen they were carrying called the Pilot Timeline Gel. What a beautiful gel ink pen, the colors are amazing. So is the price, but looking is free. Check out TPS on Facebook too.

Whitelines Slim Notebook @WhitelinesUSA

Stopped by my local stationery store last week and saw this Whitelines slim wirebound notebook with squared paper and interesting size. It's 5.75 by almost 11.75 (not 11), with 70 pages of 80gsm paper that's very gel ink friendly--no bleed through or shadow at all.

It reminds me of the Rhodia reverse book, one of my favorite Rhodia notebooks, and the Le Carre staple-bound notebook. But the former is rectangular while the latter is square, so this Whitelines is a longer, slimmer way of taking notes or working on designs.

Sideways the Whitelines slim notebook is equally good, and I could see using it when space is limited and I can't get the notebook vertical on a flat surface.

I've got this page set up to mark a knitting pattern I'm about to work on, a two-part scarf with 12 rounds of a 12-row pattern. As I'm just beginning to learn to read the knitting, rather than the chart, I still need a way to mark off what I've done. This Whitelines slim notebook is perfect for keeping tabs on the scarf's progress, while a comfortable size to slip into my knitting bag.

What amuses me is that I've drawn in the lines of the chart, rather than rely on the squared Whitelines paper to keep me on course. And that makes me wonder, how many other people use square paper and then draw the lines of the graph? Habit is my first thought, but also fear of not seeing the squares and misunderstanding what I've got in front of my eyes. Are others as redundant/nervous as me?

Friday, November 11, 2011

Poppin Blue Ballpoint Pen @Poppin

A recent addition to office supply retailers is Poppin, an online store with tons of sleek products for your desk. I've been all over their site looking at various pens and stationery supplies, but not really thinking of ordering yet as I've got lots of stuff in my stash that I have to get through firsts.

But Lost Crates sent me three of Poppin's Signature Blue Ballpoint Pens in my November package, and I couldn't wait to try these. I love the look, very simple uni-color with an edged clip that I find very attractive.

The pen is refillable, so I can replace the ink with something else once I determine what will fit. Could go with a gel ink, or maybe a blue-black color, whatever takes my fancy when it's time to refill.

These are basically no-frills pens that are sturdy and solid, with clean lines and a good design and production. The plastic fits together well, and there are no seams or nubs showing the molding process. The pen barrel feels a bit wider than my other pens, but that may be due to the lack of a rubber grip (which presses in a bit, giving the impression of a thinner pen).

For the price ($6 for 12 pens, then add in shipping and tax if applicable) it's a very worthwhile purchase, especially the fantastic color range (11 colors in all, including turquoise, magenta, two blues, two greens, red, black, and brown). The pen does skip a bit on starting, but then the ink starts to flow regularly and writing is normal and smooth.

Thinking of getting some office supplies, and don't want to do another Staples order? Definitely try Poppin, the pens and paper look fantastic as do the desk accessories and other products.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Lost Crates November 2011 @LostCrates

My November Lost Crates shipment arrived, and first thing I noticed was the wonderful card added to the box noting that this package was curated by Jack. Garret signed the other card, so thanks to both of you for an interesting box.

This month's selection is very much to my liking:

one Monsieur leather notebook (which I haven't reviewed yet but have on my to do list)

a box of Pantone notes, with 20 different color cards and envelopes.

a PooPooPaper scratch pad with zebra striping (I love the slogans on the back of the pad, "two bums up" and "brown is the new green")

three Poppin blue ballpoint pens, which I've been wanting to try.

I'm really looking forward to using and reviewing all of these, great job Lost Crates!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Brause Nibs and Astrology Guides

Great post at Went Sketching, very impressive art work and client!

Le Pen by Marvy Japan

Over 30 years ago Marvy Uchida introduced this long, sleek plastic barrel pen with a micro-fine tip and dye-based ink that adds some pop to the color. My favorite was the purple, but all the pen colors were beautiful and I was hooked. I think part of the attraction was the name, Le Pen--as if it came straight from Paris even though the barrel is clearly marked Japan. Another part of the attraction was the clean design of the pen itself, just a slim round barrel and blunt-cut cap so unlike the BIC ballpoints we used for work, school, and home.

Although I see these all the time at various stationery store, I hadn't thought to get one until a burgundy Le Pen showed up in last month's Lost Crates shipment. And it's just as I remembered it--the tip seems a bit porous and flexible, more like a sponge than a nail, and the line width looks wider than the claimed 0.3mm. I will definitely have to do a line match up to see where this Le Pen fits on the width scale, but for now it seems more like a 0.5mm or 0.7mm and that may preclude it from really fine line work.

But Le Pen retains its smooth writing style, and just has a great hand feel. The burgundy color seems very red, not as brown as some in that shade. The indented barrel end and very tight click-fit cap, as well as the indented silver clip, add to the overall attractiveness of the design. I remember now that it was one of my favorite pens, and I'll be looking for more to add to my collection.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Pentel EnerGel Needle Point Liquid Ink Pen

Many thanks to Brad and JetPens for sending me this Pentel EnerGel needle point liquid ink pen, which writes like a dream.

I love the true blue color of the ink, which does dry fast. There's something elegant about needle point tips the longer I look at one, although I can find them at times a bit disconcerting on first sight. I like how regular pen tips taper from the section down to the ball of the tip, and needle points seem strange and spiky.

I find myself looking for my needle point pens now because they are great for writing in really tiny spaces such as marking errata on knitting charts, which I've been doing a lot of lately--both knitting and catching mistakes in the pattern. With little space in the book for making changes, needle point tips are essential for correcting these errors and making notes. So the 0.5mm width of this tip seems quite good for what I need, but a 0.4mm or even 0.3mm would be great as well (if only EnerGel pens came with those tips!).

Definitely take a look when you're mulling over your next order from JetPens (I was looking at all of these items just the other day, someone got a great haul of goodies!)