Category: news

News & Follow-Up

In Sad News:

Susan Wirth’s obituary can be found in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and Janesville Press-Gazette.

I am continuing to receive photos and stories for the book I’m putting together. If you’d like to contribute, please email me. Details in the previous post.

In Other Sad News:

Dan Smith’s pen case was stolen in Chicago. There is information regarding the serial numbers and individual items in the Instagram photos and link below. If you see any of the pens listed for sale on eBay or any of the online boards, please notify Dan.

PLEASE HELP! On Thursday, May 4th, approximately $40,000 worth of fountain pens were stolen out of my vehicle in Chicago near the Adler Planetarium. A list of easily identifiable pens with serial numbers is provided below with more details, images, and the entire list of items stolen provided at my website. If you happen to come across any of these items, please let me know. There will be a reward for information leading to the recovery of any of my pens. I would greatly appreciate it if you could share this information with others. 1. Franklin-Christoph Penvelope 13 in Boot Brown 2. Markiaro 44 pen leather briefcase 3. Aurora 12 pen, black clam-shell case 4.Aurora 85th Anniversary, medium nib (don't recall serial number) 5. Montblanc Hemingway Writers Edition, oblique broad nib 6. Montblanc Charles Dickens Writers Edition, medium nib 7. Classic Pens LB5 Tensui (blue) w/ chrome trim, medium nib, Serial Number: #00/50 8. Sailor King of Pen ebonite, King Eagle nib 9. Nakaya Long Piccolo, medium (had custom lettering on barrel) 10. Nakaya Naka-ai, XXF 11. Nakaya NeoStandard medium Color: Araishu (orange), gold trim 12. Visconti Homo Sapiens Corsani 90th Anniversary, broad nib, Serial Number: #49/90 13. Pelikan M1005 Demo, 3B two-tone nib 14. Pelikan Silver Screen, EF nib, Serial Number: #260/420 15. Aurora 88 Nebulosa, Serial Number: #626/888 16. Aurora 88 Sigaro, Serial Number: #341/888 17. Aurora 88 Sole, Serial Number: #170/888 18. Aurora Optima Green Auroloid, fine flex nib(!), gold trim 19. Aurora Optima Monviso, medium nib, Serial Number: #48/360 20. Montegrappa Ducale Grande, stub nib, Serial Number: #76/888

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In Good News:

I’ll end with some good news because we need something uplifting this week, don’t we?

Col-o-ring Ink Testing books are being used by folks all over the world in new and exciting ways. Leigh Reyes is dipping the ends of the cards in her ink bottles for a great look and a quick way to sample her inks.

Col-o-rings are back in stock in my Big Cartel shop as well as being stocked in many of your favorite locations like:

and coming soon to:

So, folks overseas will finally have some options to get Col-o-rings outside the US! More European and US vendors are coming on board soon too so stay tuned!

Col-o-rings will also be available at the D.C. and San Francisco Pen Shows for sure, more details to follow as the shows get closer.

In Memory of Susan Wirth

(Image from the Long Island Pen Show Web Site, circa 2009)

On Monday afternoon, the pen community received devastating news that Susan Wirth, the Godmother of Pen Shows, Queen of Ink, and someone I like to think of as a friend, passed away.

My “word of the day” today was “moxie” and it couldn’t be a more appropriate word to remember Susan because she had it in spades. Courage, nerve, pep and know-how… that’s how the word moxie is defined and it’s exactly how I would describe Susan Wirth. She had a wealth of knowledge about fountain pens that she was willing to share and fearless courage and energy that put people half her age to shame.

She held court on Sunday in Chicago with all the verve and passion that we all remember her having so I am glad to know that she did not suffer long and that her last days were happy, doing what she loved, surrounded by people that “got her” and sharing her knowledge and passions.

According to announcements on the Pen Addict Announcements, there will be a family service in Milwaukee next week. An obituary will published on Sunday in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

There will be a pen show memorial at the DC pen show in August this year. More details will become available as the event comes closer.

I’d like to collect images, stories or anecdotes to put together a book to share in DC. If you have photos or a story you’d like to contribute, please email them to me at I’d be most grateful.

Giveaway Winner: Baron Fig Confidant Metamorphosis

Congrats to:

our winner of the Baron Fig Confidant Metamorphosis! I’ve contacted Mark via email so he can get started on his commonplace book in his new Metamporphosis this week, should he so choose.

I got home from Chicago last night so timely posts should resume tomorrow. In the meantime, enjoy this photo of me with Matt from The Pen Habit and Brad from Pen Addict. The one moment the three of us actually stood still all weekend during the pen show. We worked our butts off but we had a great time, sold lots of ink, pens and pen cases and met lots of great people and probably ate and drank a bit too much. More soon!

Atlanta Pen Show Recap and Looking Forward to Chicago

I ate from the wrong side of the mushroom! Thanks @colonel4god for the awesome photo! #atlantapenshow2017

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It’s taken me almost a week to recover from the Atlanta Pen Show.  I was so busy working behind the Vanness Pens table, I forgot to take photos but luckily, everyone else took tons.

During the day Friday, Saturday and Sunday, I sold ink, pens and paper with Lisa Vanness and Christa at the Vanness Pen table in “the Cool Kids room” as Brad and Myke deemed it near the Karas table, Carolina Pens and the ink testing station. In the evenings, we spent time sharing pens, eating and drinking. Friday night was a cookout by the pool for vendors and 3-day pass holders so we spent time outside until it was so dark we were looking at pens and ink by the light of our phones.

Saturday night was the recording of the Pen Addict podcast in front of a live studio audience. It was nerve-wracking but not as stressful as last year. I thought I was going to pass out last year. Luckily, there were other guests to interview this year; Vito from Story Supply Co. and Jonathan from Carolina Pen Co. so I really didn’t have to talk much. I just sat around, easy peasy.

By Sunday, we were all getting tired and the weather got cold and rainy which made the show pretty slow. It was disappointing for the vendors and everyone started packing up early and had to load up in the rain.

Awesome time! After the @atlantapenshow. #atlantapenshow2017

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As always, the best part of any pen show are the people you meet and get to spend time with.

@franklinchristoph prototypes at the #atlpenshow2017 #atlantapenshow2017

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But, of course, the pen love was strong!

New additions to my Skripsert collection.

And I wasn’t the only one who fell for the Sheaffer Skripserts!

Fuyu-gaki Col-o-ring meet-up! Me and sweet! #atlantapenshow2017 #coloringinktestingbook #coloringink

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And there was lots of enthusiasm for the Col-o-ring Ink Testing Books too!

Getting ready to go live! ……. #penaddict #penaddictlive #atlantapenshow2017 #atlpenshow2017

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Of course, the Pen Addict podcast recording in front of a love audience was both a highlight and a moment of sheer terror. Do we look nervous?

Nightmare coloring pages at the ink station! @penaddict @imyke #atlantapenshow2017

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There were some pretty scary coloring pages left at the ink testing station too.

So, if you’re in the Midwest, I hope you’ll be coming to the Chicago Pen Show this weekend. We’ve been madly making more Col-o-ring books to bring to the show. Once again, I’ll be at the Vanness Pens booth. This time, it will be Lisa, Matt Armstrong of the Pen Habit and I and we’ll be right next to Brad and Nock Co. so it’ll still be the “cool kids,” right?

The show is way out in the northwest suburbs but, trust me, it is totally worth the trip. Its near a great big Target too so you can get a toothbrush and TP while you’re schlepping to the suburbs. No sense in paying those toll and not get your money’s worth. If you’re coming in from Wisconsin, Michigan or Iowa, the hotel is not far from an Ikea so add that to your agenda and leave a little space in the car for pens and some build-it-yourself bookshelves.

Looking forward to another great pen show weekend even though the forecast is predicting another rainy one! We are made of tougher stuff than that, right? Italian beef will make us strong! If not, I’ll pack the Malort.

Set Your Scanners on Atlanta!

Just a reminder… This weekend is the Atlanta Pen Show so there will be lots of activity on Instagram. So, if you’re following along at home, look for the hashtag #atlantapenshow2017 . That should be the best source for photos of cool pens, funny situations and all the good stuff.

The live “in front of a studio audience” broadcast of the Pen Addict podcast will be happening on Saturday night and yours truly will be parked at a mic alongside the main events, Brad and Myke and some special guests too!

If you’ll be in Atlanta, I will be at the Vanness table with Lisa and Christa for the duration of the weekend with a big stack of Col-o-ring Ink testing books, gobs of awesome inks like Bungbox, KWZ, Callifolio, Robert Oster, and so much more. We will be in the “Cool Kids Room” with the ink testing station, along with Karas Kustoms and Jonathan Brooks on the right side of the hall.

If you don’t spot me in any of the above mentioned places (I’m the one without the beard), then you’ll find me at the bar or the Waffle House. I’ll be the tired, inky handed girl with pinky/purple hair. I shouldn’t be to hard to spot.

I’ll be back in the “chair” on Tuesday. Tired but happy. See you then!

Giveaway Winner: Pelikan Edelstein Smoky Quartz

Pelikan Edelstein Smoky Quartz Giveaway Package

Woo! Lots of love for Smoky Quartz and Aquamarine and the as-yet unnamed 2018 olive green ink in the Pelikan Edelstein and Col-o-ring Giveaway.

Congrats to Dave C. our giveaway winner who has already been contacted via email. Thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway. We’ll have more ink and Col-o-ring giveaways post-Atlanta Pen Show.

Love and inkiness!

April is National Letter Writing Month

Okay, gang! I know you’all get jazzed about InCoWriMo in February but letter-writing is not a once a year occurrence. Did you fall short in February? Did you lose steam? Did you not even know about InCoWriMo at all? Whatever the case may be, going back as far as 2001, the USPS made a statement that it wanted to expand its previous weeklong card- and letter-writing campaign tradition beyond the first week of April to the entire month of April. It hoped  to encourage school-age children to write cards and letters along with the rest of us by giving us a whole month to put forth the effort to put pen to paper.

In 2014, the Letter Writers Alliance documented that other dates have been chosen as of letter-writing significance. But let’s decide that April is as good a time as any to develop, hone or polish our letter-writing skills. Whether its dashing off a few Easter cards, writing some birthday wishes this month instead of just posting messages on Facebook or finding some like-minded friends to start up a correspondence with – take this month to do a little letter-writing.

One of the most inspiring things I heard this week that got me wanting to write was the podcast Nerdette interview with Tom Hanks talking about typewriters. Go forth, listen, enjoy and get to writing!

You also might want to consider the Egg Press and Hello Lucky collaboration project, Write_On Kit to help you stay motivated.

Write_On is a labor of love. Each year, we offer Write_On Letter-writing Kits because we believe in the power of letters to bring people together in a meaningful way. This year, we invite you to invest in Write_On too – by paying what you can for a kit – so that we can continue to supply you with the tools and inspiration you need to keep your letter-writing practice strong. We really couldn’t do it without you. Free kits are still available to those who need them, but please consider purchasing yours if you can. Thank you in advance for your generosity!

And don’t forget to check out the Think.Make.Share. blog which will be “getting serious” throughout the month of April with posts focused on letter writing, printables, inspiring stories and other excuses to use the tools you love. I love it when my day job and my night job cross paths!

The best thing about the April Letter-Writing Challenge is there is NO challenge. It’s just letter-writing month. You are not being challenged to write a letter every day or set some heroic goal. You can set a realistic, doable goal. Is it to just answer the letters from February? Or finally write those Christmas thank you cards? Maybe just send a couple sweet nothings to your spouse or your child so they get a real card or letter in the mail? Invite a couple friends over for a mini-letter writing social? Or give yourself an excuse to spend an extra hour at your favorite coffee shop and dash off a few notes to old or new friends.

Happy writing and don’t forget to use all those pens, inks and papers you’ve been collecting!