Category: news

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!

News: Col-o-ring Release, Upcoming Pen Shows & Swatching Video

I did a soft launch of the Col-o-ring Ink Testing Books this weekend and thought, “Hey, maybe we might sell a few.” Um, wow. The response was amazing.

We sold out. In a day. I’m speechless.

We are going back on press this week and will be adding more to the shop throughout the week as they are available. Hopefully, there are other people who want books otherwise we will reprint my lifetime supply. That’s what I thought with the first batch but you crazy, awesome, amazing people bought them so we are taking a chance and printing more.

In the meantime, I made a short video demonstrating how I do my swatches. I am not at all experienced at making videos so please overlook the video quality. And the green hands… I had an ink accident prior to recording.

This is by no means the only way to do ink swatching. This is just the method I use. I love the technique that Mike from Inkdependence uses in his video. I included a link to his video in Link Love last Wednesday. There are many other methods as well. If you have a favorite technique, please leave a link in the comments.

In other news, Wednesday is the 250th episode of the Pen Addict podcast. I thought I might crash the party and help the boys celebrate. A little warm-up before the real party in Atlanta in a few weeks.

Speaking of Atlanta…

The Atlanta Pen Show is just THREE WEEKS away! Holy crapoly! I’ve got inks to swatch, Col-o-rings to make, pink hairs to dye and many, many blog posts to get prepped and ready so that folks who AREN’T GOING still have things to read.

For Attendees: You can find me at the Vanness Pen Shop table by day, and either the bar or the Waffle House by night. Unless, of course, its Saturday night, then I’ll be third wheelin’ for Brad and Myke and the Relay Con live recording of the Pen Addict podcast.

The Vanness Pen Shop will be stocking the Col-o-ring Ink Testing Books for the Atlanta Pen Show. Pre-orders will not be needed though there will be a limited number of books available. Hopefully, we will not run out.

If you’re not going to Atlanta: I’ll be sure to have regular content through the week and as many Instagram posts as I can cram in. I’ll be sure to include a wrap-up after the show if you’re curious about the details.

Other Pen Shows: Plans are to bring the Col-o-ring Ink Testing Books to Chicago, San Francisco and other pen shows this year as well. News as those shows get closer.

I promise, the blog is not turning into “All about Col-o-ring”. Stay tuned for our regularly scheduled content including reviews, Link Love and Ask The Desk posts about all the topics you love. I just need a day or two to catch my breath.

I’m off to see the Wizards of Arkansas!

I’m headed to the Arkansas Pen Show today and I’ll be setting up my very first (ever!) table at a pen show and I’m super nervous. If you don’t have plans this weekend, and live in the Arkansas area, please pop by the Crowne Plaza in Little Rock this weekend and say hello! The show opens Friday, March 17th and 10am and will be open until 6pm. The show will also be open all day Saturday, March 18th from 9 am until 6 pm and again on Sunday, March 19th from 9am until 4 pm.

Skylab Letterpress and I will be sharing a table full of goodies including:

  • vintage typewriters
  • letterpress notecards, notepads, prints, and coasters
  • rubber stamps
  • vintage office supplies
  • assorted Field Notes Colors Editions and Blackwing Editions s as I’m clearing some space in the stationery cupboard (Some Field Notes are still factory sealed and Blackwings will be available individually!)
  • and our brand new product release, The Col-o-ring Ink testing book!

A one day pass is just $5 and a 3-day pass is $10.

There are evening events both Friday and Saturday night.

Friday night is the Open House and Aurora “Flexi Pen Party” at Vanness Pen Shop. The event starts at 6:30 and goes until Lisa and Mike kick us all out.

Saturday night is the Pen Addict meet-up hosted by the one-and-only Brad Dowdy (AKA Pen Show Husband) and the Arkansas Pen Club. The event starts at 6:30pm and is FREE and open to the general public in addition to all pen show attendees, vendors, exhibitors & sponsors. It will be hosted at the Crowne Plaza but specific location will be announced later.

Desks are for more than just writing!

On Mardi Gras, of all days, it seems appropriate to celebrate the use of desks for more than just writing or reading or other solemn or sedentary acts. Today, let’s celebrate the winner of the third annual Tiny Desk Contest. The winers are Tank and the Bangas who are appropriately from New Orleans, the soul of Mardi Gras in the US. They jammed out on the desks in the art room in a school classroom showing that desks are great for making music, making magic and making dreams come true. Congrats to Tank and the Bangas! And Happy Mardi Gras! Roulez Bon Temps!

For full details about the Tiny Desk Contest and to listen to the full radio report, visit

News: The Pencil Perfect

Look what popped up this morning in my Amazon recommendations! Yes, folks, Caroline Weaver of CW Pencil Enterprise fame has a book on the way! The book is called The Pencil Perfect: The Untold Story of a Cultural Icon and it will be released in hardcover on April 24, 2017. The price is listed at $40 for the hardcover and I’m sure that CW Pencil Enterprise will be hosting an epic book release party. Keep an eye on their blog for more news.

Congrats, Caroline, and I can’t wait to get my copy. Maybe someday, you’ll sign it for me?