Just wanted to post a quick “housekeeping” post to let you know what’s going on around here.
First, I added some new links in the Guide Sheets to some other awesome resources from Leigh Reyes and Ink Journal. GO now and check them out! I plan on adding more guide sheet options in the future but Leigh and Tom have created so cool things that are definitely worth trying out.
Next, I reclaimed my mini GorillaPod from Bob so I’m hoping to add some videos to Instagram in the coming weeks. I’ll try to remember to post them here too but you may want to make sure you’re following me on Instagram to see any videos, stories and pen show silliness as it happens.
Finally, I know I am WAY behind on product reviews but have faith, as soon as I’m back from San Francisco there will be an avalanche of reviews. I have a metric ton of inks to review, about a gross of pencils, some fountain pens (both my own and loaners), some notebooks and sketchbooks and many Ask The Desk questions queued up to be answered. I have not forgotten, I’ve just gotten behind on EVERYTHING from laundry to work to life itself. So, don’t despair. I’ll get back to a more regular schedule in the next couple weeks.
If you have any questions, Ask The Desk topics or things you’re dying for my to review ASAP, drop me a line at chair (at) wellappointeddesk (dot) com and I’ll put them on the top of my list.
Happy Lefthanders Day! I thought I’d celebrate this weekend with a few posts specific to left handers that I’ve had queued up for awhile. So, all you lefties out there, this weekend is for you! Whether you hook when you write (also called overwriting like President Obama, pictured below) or write from below the baseline in a more neutral hand position like previous US Presidents Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton. Yes! Five out of the last seven US Presidents were left-handed! Amazing.
Once again, I was so busy chatting and working at the DC Pen Show that I hardly took any photos at all so I had to scavenge through the Instagram #DCPenShow2016 hashtag to find all the photos of the show. I hope no one minds that I shared their photos here.
The DC Show was as epic as everyone promised it would be and I met so many people. It was such an amazing experience. I got to meet people I’ve talked to online, made new friends and saw familiar faces from other shows as well. Everyone was incredibly nice, both new collectors and seasoned veterans which made the whole event even better.
Selling ink for the Vanness Pen Shop is an education for me every time I have the opportunity to do it. I love seeing what colors and brands people are drawn to purchasing and what will sell out first. I also learn so much about inks myself and get smarter about them each show — getting better at color matching and putting them on a spectrum from wettest to driest.
The evenings were spent hanging out in the bar or at the ink sampling table visiting with friends and making new ones. The Fountain Pen Day Blogger Meet-Up was a blast on Friday and we packed the room beyond fire code (shh, don’t tell!).
I was, as expected, exhausted by the end of the weekend as was everyone else but the whole trip was worth it. I didn’t buy much, just a few bottles of ink, some paper and one pen but I’ll share those in a future post. I just wanted to share a few pictures and some happy thoughts and let you all know I’m back among the living and already planning for San Francisco.
Just in time for the All-Star Game is the Blackwing Editions No. 56 Joe DiMaggio edition. In white lacquer and classic blue pin stripes and topped with a blue eraser, the No. 56 pays tribute to the “Yankee Clipper,” the baseball legend who hit safely in 56 consecutive games in 1941.
This edition of the Blackwing features a firm core and the classic extendable eraser in blue. I received my shipping notification yesterday so they should arrive in my hot little hands by this weekend. While I’m not a diehard baseball fan, I love the nostalgia and classic good looks of this edition and I’m quite looking forward to it. Subscribe to get your own Volumes or buy this edition here.
Have you seen the new Anderson Pens Ink Comparison Tool? The tool will allow for up to five ink color comparisons from their inventory and will allow sorting by brand, color family and will even allow selecting out colors that are unavailable.
I tried it out today and I have to say it wasn’t until I scrolled down to see the tables, that I was blown away by the level of detail it contained. Each table lists the price of the ink per ounce/ml, the country of origin, if its available in cartridges, if its water resistant, shimmery, pigmented, quick-dry and so much more in a quick, easy-to read comparison chart. The ink color comparisons are shown side-by-side so its also easy to see to color differences. I added in a color I already owned as a visual “control” so I could gauge how much bluer or greener the other turquoise colors might appear. And that helped me make a more accurate comparison for myself and figure out how color accurate my computer monitor is. This is a really thorough, easy-to-use tool and its a little TOO easy to buy either a sample or a whole bottle of ink right from the comparison tool. I think I’m going to be spending a lot of money this way.
Full transparency, Anderson Pens is a sponsor of this blog but they did not ask me to mention this new feature nor was I specifically compensated to mention it here.
FYI, I just wanted to give y’all a “heads up”, I am in the final week of a huge project at work which is requiring a ton of overtime including being in the office on a Sunday in order to finish it up. (Please refer to the somber photo above as proof.) This means its going to be a little quiet around here this next week. My apologies! I’ll be sure to get Link Love up this week, and there’s going to be a big surprise for that! By Saturday, the project should be released and I can think about pens and ink and paper again so I can get back to the regularly scheduled program, already in progress.
Side note: there’s another project in the works that’s going to be kind of exciting. There will be more information about that sometime next week but its gonna be kind of big. So stay tuned.
In the meantime, check out the archives, click some old Link Loves and say hello to our lovely sponsors. Next month it will be six years, gang! I’ve been doing this for six years! Can you believe it?
Word. Notebooks have just released their new Terrain Series notebooks featuring topographic style artwork on the covers of three different sets of notebooks in green, orange or ivory. Inside, these notebooks feature the same lined paper with the built-in bullet system as their previous notebooks and feature 48-pages in each of their 3-pack of notebooks. Each set is available for $9.99 for a 3-pack. Perfect for all your summer explorations.
I cannot believe how quickly four days passed. The Atlanta Pen Show 2016 was four action-packed days of making tons of new friends, seeing old friends, and, of course, looking at all sorts of wallet-emptying pens, inks, paper and other wonderful goodies!
To give a quick timeline, we arrived in Atlanta on Thursday afternoon and got to mingle and hang out with all the early arrivers in the evening. I get the impression that the hotel bar staff doesn’t quite know what to do with us but they tolerate the inevitably ink-tinged water goblets without complaint. We ate, drank and chatted a good deal so I hope the wait staff tipped out well at the end of the night.
Friday, I got to walk around the show floor a little bit in the morning and then the wonderful folks at Goulet Pens asked if I would do an interview for their Q&A series live and in-person. It was both incredibly exciting and incredibly nerve-wracking but the best part was meeting Brian and Rachel and their wonderful videographer and video editor, Jenni. After the video, I got to visit with more folks and wander a bit more before the show closed and the evening carousing kicked into gear again. Friday night was the traditional Atlanta Pen Show hamburger cookout which was fun and filling even if the burgers were still mooing.
Saturday, I got to spend the morning testing out inks at the Vanness ink testing station and then the afternoon helping out at the NockCo booth with Myke (yes, they let us run the show for awhile!) before the big moment: the recording of the 200th episode of The Pen Addict podcast recorded in front of a live audience at the show! I cannot believe how epic it was to record a podcast (not in my pajamas) in front of 60+ people. I am so grateful to all the Kickstarter backers and Brad and Myke and the celebrity crew from Relay.FM for making it all happen and letting me be a part of such a historic event. Sitting here typing this, I have to pull that pack of tissues out again because I’m getting all verklempt again.
However, the one thing I forgot to do in all the excitement was TAKE PICTURES! So, I’m leaning on all the wonderful folks on Instagram who used the hashtag #ATLPenShow2016 and #AtlantaPenShow2016 to find some of my favorite moments from the show and share them with you. I hope the original photographer don’t mind that I’ve included their photos here (please let me know if you do, I’ll swap them out but I hope you know that I’m sharing them with love and best intentions!) Please go through all the awesome photos on Instagram and see all the great stuff people found, all the happy faces and I hope to see your face in Atlanta next year!
I’ll be doing another post with all the goodies I acquired and, of course, more in-depth reviews of inks and pens in the coming weeks so stay tuned!
Saturday, April 16th, 6:00 pm (Doors at 5:30): The Pen Addict Podcast, Episode #200 LIVE
Brad and Myke are recording episode #200 of the Pen Addict podcast and I have the honor of sitting third chair beside two of the best guys in the pen community.
If you are in Atlanta AND attending the Pens Show AND backed the RelayCon Kickstarter, you can still sign up to be a tickeetd member of the audience for the live recording at the NockCo booth on Saturday but we are limited by the size of the room so it’s first come, first serve.
Once we get all the backers in the room, we will try our best to get anyone else in the room that wants to watch. Hopefully everyone gets in but there is a mximum capapcity on the room size. The event will be livestreaming on Relay.fm/live starting around 6pm EST as well if you are NOT in the Atlanta area if you want to listen and feel like you’re hanging out with us here.
For more details about the event and the after party, check out the post over on The Pen Addict. Thanks for all your support and if you’re at the show, please say hello!
Moleskine has introduced its Smart Writing Set, a notebook and digitally-enabled pen that works in combination with an app that syncs with the Moleskine Notes app, Google Drive or Evernote. The notebook is designed with rounded pages to look more like the shape of a tablet. Maybe to visually differeniate it from the regular notebooks? It features 100 gsm paper and NCode encoded pages to help sync with the digital app.
The Pen+ features a tiny camera and internal memory to store digital data as well as an actual rollerball nib. The pen comes with a charging cord as well.
Thanks so much to Fontoplumo for generously offering the Lamy Safari Dark Lilac Limited Edition fountain pen to one of the lucky readers of The Well-Appointed Desk. All the wonderful spring comments, from blooming cherry blossoms, to pollen-covered cars, were fun to read and made me want to see Spring in every single city and town across the world.
And now to Random Number Generator….
Hope you will have fun keeping track of baseball scores and players stats with your new Dark Lilac Lamy Safari. I’ll be contacting you directly via email to make shipping arrangements. Happy Spring!
Myke and Brad are joined by Ana Reinert of The Well-Appointed Desk to get ready for the 2016 Atlanta Pen Show! We also get through a huge list of follow up and have fun with our #AskAna segment.
Come on over and listen to episode 197 and get excited about the pen show if you’re planning to go, The Pen Addict’s 200th episode if you regularly listen to the show or just get a chance to hear my dulcet tones.
OMG! The guys gave me a hashtag! #AskAna And this week’s title is in honor of my online hoolies — you know who you are. Hope to see all of you in Atlanta and online!
Goldspot Pens is hosting a last hurrah for OMAS pens. They’ll be adding new OMAS pens to their shop all this week – some are rare pieces that haven’t been in production for years. There’s also a rafflecopter giveaway to win an OMAS Milady ballpoint pen. Also, there is a free gift with purchase of $150 or more with promo code (OMASPARTY good through4/15/2016) for a bottle of OMAS violet ink. Check out their blog post for more details and check in with the shop for new OMAS items. Say farewell to OMAS with a new pen.
My darling Dad sent me this article about the pen industry, including a short interview with the owner of Century Pens in downtown Chicago who was an absolute sweetheart to me last year when I went in to shop. It’s a good article about the good, the bad and the luxury in the pen industry. Sadly, I could not find the sidebar article about “Pens found on the desks of 10 Chicago Executives.” My favorite comment was from Sharon O’Keefe who is the president of the University of Chicago Medicine who is quoted excitedly about her current obsession, a Sailor Professional Gear with a fine point.
Write Notepads is starting their very own subscription service for $99.99 per year which includes US shipping (additional shipping charges for Canada and international subscribers). Every quarter Write Notepads will be releasing a special 3-pack of uniquely designed notebooks. The subscription kit will include (2) two variety 3-packs plus (2) two current limited edition 3-packs, a personalized membership card, and additional bonus items.
Each following quarter, subscribers will receive (2) two limited edition 3-packs of the current release. Subscribers will also be able to purchase additional packs of notebooks prior to the release to the public as well as being notified of “members only” sales and special promotions. The first kits will start shipping on March 31st so if you’re interested in getting in on the inaugural run, subscribe soon.
Most experts, including Cornell University, recommend that for every 20-30 minutes of sitting, you get up and walk or move around for two minutes. Getting up and moving is considered as effective as a costly (and often less work-efficient) standing desk and its free. Add in 30 minutes of brisk activity each day (which can be broken into 10 minute segments) and you might just live a longer, healthier life.
I’m going to try it by using the Pomodoro Method. I’ll work for 25 minutes and then walk around for five minutes. I also used to sit on a yoga ball and I have to say I’ve been missing the bounciness. I think I might reinflate it and try that again as well to help improve my posture too.
Do you worry about how much you sit? Are you using a standing desk or trying any techniques to walk, stand or move more? Any tips?
Mike Rohde and his Sketchnote Army has had a profound effect on many of you, myself included, and I’m excited to celebrate World Sketchnote Day on Monday, January 11. That’s right, let’s spend the day sketch noting everything! Your breakfast! That boring meeting! The guy on the bus! The five things on the top of your bucket list! The best things your kids have ever said! Whatever! Doodle, illustrate, elaborate!
You can sign up on the the Sketchnote Army site to win fabulous prizes and tell how you’ll be celebrating the joys of Sketchnoting. Prizes are being offered from Astropad, Cultpens, JetPens, Betabook, Baron Fig, Moleskine, Bullet Journal, Sketchnote Handbook, awesome Sketchnoters and more!
You can ask professional Sketchnoters for tips and techniques throughout the day.
There’s lot’s of other ways to celebrate and participate too. Visit the Sketchnote Army site to see the whole list.
No matter what you do, work that hashtag: #SNDay2016
There are far too many end-of-year sales for me to list them all here but if there’s something you’ve had your eye on for sometime, now might be a good time to double-check and see if there’s a discount, price reduction, coupon or free shipping offer available.
Lots of our favorite pen shops are doing year end inventory clear outs, like Pen Chalet (don’t forget to add the coupon code YEAREND in cart for an extra 10% off), Levenger is holding its semi-annual up-to-50% off sale and this year they’ve added lots of new planning supplies back into its offerings as well as its pens, Circa systems and travel bags. Notemaker is hosting its Boxing Day sale with 15% off sale items with the coupon code BOX15 through Wednesday 30 Dec. 2015. Kate Spade is having a huge sale that includes discounted prices on planners, stationery, phone cases and much more. Use the coupon code THRILL on sale items for an additional 25% off as well. I ordered the notecard set above for $16 (half the original price!) that way.
Lots of other shops are having sales so if you know of a particularly good one, leave a note in the comments. I’m sure there’s someone with some Christmas cash burning a hole in their pocket.
Remember, the best way to find out about sales, special offers and new products from any of your favorite retailers is to subscribe to their email newsletter list. I have mine filter into a special folder so they don’t clutter up any urgent messages but can be reviewed and perused regularly. Happy shopping!
Oh, yes. Its that time of year. Black Friday deals and sales. It’s time to take advantage of the best deals from all your favorite pen shops. And it’s time to send links to your friends and loved ones and tell them “buy me this!” for the holidays too.
I thought I’d help you out and round up all The Well-Appointed Desk’s US sponsors who are participating in the holiday mayhem. Our friends in the Netherlands and Australians call today Thursday. You can bother them on Boxing Day, which we Americans call December 26th.
Karas Kustoms is offering 20% off if you use the coupon code “BLACKFRIDAY” from 11/26-11/30 (Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday). After that, the coupon code “HAPPYHOLIDAYS” will get 15% off from 12/1-01/01/16. Coupon codes cannot be combined with free shipping options, however, so you may want to do some fancy math to get the best deals!
Goulet Pens are hosting their Thanksgiveaway campaign which has many ways to get great deals and free stuff. Check out all the details here.
Oh, good grief! With over 50 sale items, I couldn’t possibly list all the great deal that JetPens is offering for Black Friday here. So, here’s a link to this week’s newsletter. Just forward it to your loved ones marked “Urgent: Christmas Wish List” and let them take it from there.
Pen Chalet will be running a storewide 15% discount plus there will be a bunch of items listed at 40-50% off. For more information, visit their Black Friday sales page.
If you’re in the Appleton, WI area, you should definitely stop by the store on Friday, if for no other reason than to say hello to Lisa and take her a donut. There will also be lots of in-store specials.
If the shop is a little too far out of the way, Anderson Pens is offering free shipping on orders over $35 Thursday through Monday. And…
Buy any refillable ballpoint or rollerball, receive 1 free refill
Buy any Pilot fountain pen $20 or more, receive a free 3pk of blue cartridges
Buy any Sheaffer fountain pens except VFM, receive a free 5-pk of cartridges. Choose your color and include in your order notes. Color options are : Orange, Pink, Gold, Purple, Black
Goldspot Pens is offering an array of deals too including deal so good they require the above infographic. Check out all their great deals here plus a chance to win a Pelikan M205 Amethyst fountain pen.
Monday afternoon (THAT’S TODAY!) at 5:30 EST, the Pen Addict podcast will be recording the 4th Annual Holiday Gift Guide Live (but the third time that I’ll be on as co-co-co-host)! So if you’d like to tune in and listen live, pop over to Relay.FM a few minutes before and join in on the chitter chatter. If you can’t make it, you can download the episode later on. It should be episode #182, title TBD. The show notes should include gobs of links and I’ll be sure to post a follow-up here with additional information as well. Sorry for the short notice. Its been such a busy week and I just assume you can all read my mind. You knew this was coming, right?
I just wanted to let you know I cleaned up my Links page. I added a bunch of new links and removed a few that hadn’t been updated in over a year. If you are currently blogging about pens, paper, ink or planners and are not on the list, use the Ask The Desk link at the top of the page to send me a link to your site.
Also, it was brought to my attention that my Instagram link was crap so I fixed it. If you want to follow me on Instagram, give that link over there on the right a try. Its under the “Follow The Desk” header — lots of cute little icons so you can stalk me just about anywhere.
If you’re not familiar with Mike Rohde and his sketchnote revolution, I’ll try to distill it down but your best option would be to visit his web site or the Sketchnote Army site or, of course, purchasing his books. The idea behind sketchnoting is that simple drawings, bold lettering, icons and symbols can help improve your note-taking and thereby improve your understanding and memory retention from a lecture, class, presentation or meeting.
During the workshop, Mike elaborated on the techniques included in the sketchnotes Handbook and we got to see him create his symbols, lettering and other techniques live.
As the workshop progressed, we learned that sketchnoting can also be used for documenting personal notes like travel, recipes and journaling. Mike’s teaching style is relaxed and approachable and made it easy for everyone to feel like they could accomplish sketchnoting.
The attendees of the workshop came from a broad array of professions. I met designers, human resources specialists, educators, interior designers, and even a physician who works at a teaching hospital. Everyone was excited to take the knowledge they learned back to their colleagues, students and co-workers.
If you have a chance to attend one of Mike Rohde’s workshops or lectures, I highly recommend it.
If you already have The Sketchnote Handbook, I would recommend picking up a copy of the advanced techniques book, The Sketchnote Workbook. I got a chance to flip through the book at the workshop and have ordered a copy for myself. Its more techniques for sketchnoting and ideas and tips for bringing sketchnoting into all your written work. Peachpit Press has a 35% off coupon code right now too — POP35 so you can get a great deal on some great books!
I did a short Periscope from the Sketchnotes Workshop that a few people caught. If I get a rally in the comments, I might be persuaded to repost it on YouTube.
Oh, one last thing… I have two extra notebooks and stickers from the event that I would like to give away to readers. I’ll even throw in the pens! The notebooks were generously provided by my favorite local art supply store Artist & Craftsman and were produced by Shizen Design, a local KC paper company. Leave a comment below to be entered.
FINE PRINT: All entries must be submitted by 10pm CST on Thursday, September 3, 2015. All entries must be submitted at wellappointeddesk.com, not Twitter, Tumblr or Facebook, okay? Winner will be announced on Friday. Winner will be selected by random number generator from entries that played by the rules (see above). Please include your email address in the comment form so that I can contact you if you win. I will not save email addresses or sell them to anyone — pinky swear. If winner does not respond within 30 days, I will draw a new giveaway winner. Shipping via USPS first class is covered. Additional shipping options or insurance will have to be paid by the winner. US residents only please.
If you are in Kansas City, and you read this blog, you are probably going to want to hop over to the KC Coffee & Design and register to attend the Friday lecture (FREE!) and the Saturday Sketchnotes Workshop ($75) coming at the end of August. And if you happen to attend either of this events, be sure to look for me and say hello. I’ll be the one trying to hug Mike.