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Thursday, July 2, 2015

Pen Trivia

Question: How long is the longest hand written antique scroll?

Answer: According to Guinness Book of World Records, the longest hand written scroll in over 85 feet long. The paper scroll is from 1835 and is archived in India.

Ink Trivia

Question: What is the oldest ink-written postcard?

Answer: The oldest ink-written postcard is dated 1840 and was discovered in 2002. It was penned by an English gentleman who sent it to himself.  Prior to this discovery, postcards in the late 1960s from Germany, Austria and the USA were thought to be the oldest ones of record.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Writer Corner

There are many ways we find to express ourselves. In this fast paced technology world there is an abundance of ways to do so. Many well-known authors from the past and present prefer the feel of a fine writing instrument in their hand while composing.

Starting with his 1994 novel “Stardust” fantasy author Neil Gaiiman first used a Waterman pen with a large notepad. He enjoyed creating with a fountain pen. He now utilizes over 60 different pens which include, Visconti, Pilot Custom 823 Amber and Delta. Dylan Thomas preferred the popular Parker 51 fountain pen with its fast-drying ink. A comparable Parker pen today is the Parker 100 series. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the mastermind behind sleuth Sherlock Holmes, composed many of his works with a Parker Duofold pen. According to husband Ted Hughes, Sylvia Plath constructed her writings using a Sheaffer pen.

Writer Quotes

“I saw that bad handwriting should be regarded as a sign of an imperfect education.” Mahatma Gandhi

“Writing letters… is such a swell way to keep from working and yet feel you've done something.” - Ernest Hemingway

 “A man’s penmanship is an unfailing index of his character, moral and mental, and a criterion by which to judge his peculiarities of taste and sentiment.” Lord Chesterfield

“The post office has a great charm at one point of our lives.  When you have lived to my age, you will begin to think letters are never worth going through the rain for.” - Jane Austen

 “Letter writing is the only device for combining solitude with good company. “-  Lord Byron

Monday, June 29, 2015

Independence Day – 4th July

               The importance of Independence Day cannot be conveyed in words, the declaration of democracy was a glorious moment for each and every American. Till this date the glorious event that took place in 4th July 1776 carries a promising faith of what became a new independent America. This day reflects a great significance to all fellow Americans as it’s the day when United Stated claimed its independence from the palms of England by signing the declaration of independence.

              Every year Independence Day is celebrated with immense joy by setting aside the hustle and bustle of regular life and reliving this day with pride and glory. As per the occasion a number of events take place all across the country to express the joy of freedom. Most tend to celebrate this federal holiday outdoors attending various carnivals and picnic with family and friends while others aim to hear the speech conveyed by the politicians who are very less likely to introduce themselves in public on a normal day. At the end of the day fireworks all across the country glitters up the sky with the sparks of freedom.  This year Pen Boutique is glad to wish each and every fellow Americans a very happy Independence Day.  

Monday, June 22, 2015

International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking

Though UN has implemented various actions to repel the trafficking of illicit drugs, more and more amount of drugs is still spilling over the border.

- Around 200 million people around the world still use illicit drugs
- The production farm of opium increased by 36% in 2014
- The death toll due to abuse of illicit drug has risen to 183000 in the previous year

Despite the consequences, people still don’t back off from the illicit abuse and trafficking of drugs. Over the years the death tolls due to drug abuse has been significantly increasing. Not only has illicit drug been a major reason for premature death but also it has wasted the productive years of many who have fallen under its trap. Though United Nation Office on Drugs and Crime have taken various steps to minimize the abuse of illicit drugs, still  rough report states  that 0.6 percent of the total population falls under the criteria of drug abuse. Despite of government bodies around the world taking necessary steps to minimize drug trafficking and abuse, the issue seems to remain constant. One of its main reasons is the globalization of chemical trade which consequently has diverted the use of chemicals from legal to illegal.

This year, on 26th of June, International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking let’s work towards making our world a drug abuse-free planet. Let’s create a better world.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Happy Father’s Day

While Moms are usually responsible for maintaining order in the family, it is Dads who come as a much needed respite in hours of rescue. He is our big friend, our protector, most daughters’ first love and a son’s mentor. In a nutshell, he is more than the man who pays the bills. He is the man who stays strong for us in the worst of times. This Father’s Day don’t miss out on the opportunity to thank the big man. And rather than just expressing your gratitude with words (not that it isn’t recommended), pair it with a valuable gift. Pen Boutique presents to you an assortment of item that could be your Father’s Day gift.

1. Pilot Namiki Vanishing Point Pen Black Carbon Fiber/Rhodium Fountain Pen: The revolutionary push button fountain pen is one of a kind, just like your father. The black carbon fiber finish gives it a rough, sturdy appearance that has a nib of gold. In fact, this could even be a family heirloom.

2. Dalvey Grand Voyager Compass: For the outdoor-man that your father is or wants to be, the Dalvery Grand Voyager Compass is the perfect father’s day gift. With the glazed window and dramatic deep-engraved detailing the compass makes for a powerful yet classic impression.

3. Montblanc Cuff Links Round PVD finish Stainless Steel and Black Onyx: This pair of cuff links is a style statement; the black onyx is bold and the stainless steel frame is elegant. For the stylish pop who can always dress a notch above you, the cuff links from Montblanc is perfect.

4. Dalvey Desk Globe and Stand: The crystal globe can have emotional value if you don’t live very close to your father or work keeps you two away from each other around the year. The globe could easily be the centerpiece of your Dad’s work desk – a reminder that despite the distance he is close to your heart.

5. Dalvey Grand Odyssey Clock: Well the watch is the definition of classic and everyone should have one of their own. You father will love it, despite his preferences or taste.

These are the top five gift suggestion we have for you, but these aren’t the only ones available. We have prepared an entire segment stacked with possible Father’s Day gifts. Pick as you please for your old man.

Note: To learn about the price, go to the link.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Ink Trivia

Using a twist converter with Ink Bottle

One of the many joys of using a fine fountain pen is availability in the wide assortment of bottled ink to choose from. Whether conservative or flamboyant, there is an ink to fit every personality and your every mood. You can always dip a pen for inking, but using a pen converter provides a longer lasting ink reserve and allows your ideas to flow.  Some may be a little leery of exploring using a fountain pen converter. Here are some detailed easy instructions to take out the mystery of converters.

1.) Unscrew the neck from the pen barrel and insert the open end of the converter.
2.) Dip the pen in ink up to the hole in the nib. Be careful not to jam the nib point into the bottom of the bottle.
3.) Twist the black converter screw top clockwise three or four times to fill the ink reservoir.
4.) Ink remaining on the neck or nib should be wiped off with a clean tissue or cloth before use.

You are now ready to write!

Question: When was the first pen reservoir invented?

Answer:  As an answer to 10th century ruler Fatomid Caliph of Egypt demand for a pen which would not stain his hands or clothes, a pen which held ink in a reservoir and delivered it to the nib in was created in 953.

Pen Trivia

Question: A pen by Thomas Edison is still used today. What is its purpose?

Answer:  The first safe electric motor driven office appliance produced and sold in the United States was an electric pen, part of a complete outfit for duplicating handwritten documents and drawings. Thomas Edison filed a patent for his “Stencil-Pen” in 1876. The Stencil-pen was a commercial failure in its intended use of print duplication.

The invention received a reincarnation in 1891. Edison’s Stencil-Pen became a launching point for a newly defined industry. With Samuel O’Reilly’s modification to the inventions’ original design, the art of tattoos received a new boost in availability. O’Reilly expanded on Edison’s design, to allow the Stencil-pen to serve as a tool–injecting ink under skin instead of into paper.

Writer Corner

William Faulkner had some specific ideas about becoming a writer. You become a writer simply by reading and writing.

“Read, read, read everything – trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You’ll absorb it. Then write. If it is good, you’ll find out. If it is not, throw it out the window!”

“Don’t be a writer, be writing.”

“You don’t need writing classes or seminars any more than you need this or any other book on writing.” Faulkner learned his trade while working in the Oxford, Mississippi post office. Other writers have learned the basics while serving in the Navy, working in steel mills or doing time in America’s finer hotels.

Faulkner’s strong commitment to writing still lives on.

The PEN/Faulkner Foundation is an outgrowth of William Faulkner’s generosity in using his 1949 Nobel Prize winnings to create the William Faulkner Foundation among the charitable goals of the foundation was "to establish a fund to support and encourage new fiction writers."

The PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction is awarded annually by the PEN/Faulkner Foundation to the authors of the year's best works of fiction by living American citizens.

Write everywhere and often.

Writer Quotes

“Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything beautiful, for beauty is God's handwriting.” –
Ralph Waldo Emerson

“I never did calligraphy... But handwriting is an entirely different kind of thing. It's part of the syndrome of modernism... It's part of that asceticism.” - Paul Rand

“I was filling entire school notebooks with stories by Grade 3. Of course, they were double-spaced, and the handwriting was huge.’ - Linwood Barclay

“You may not be able to read a doctor's handwriting and prescription, but you'll notice his bills are neatly typewritten.” - Earl Wilson

Recording Family History

Family bibles uses expand beyond being just religious scripture document. Many have also served the purpose of providing a home for records of important events that happened such as deaths, births, graduations and weddings for centuries. Many family bibles even include traditions, recipes and family anecdotes.

Recording electronic family history may now be the norm, but hi-tech solutions are not essential. The preference for keeping detailed paper records, including handwritten biographical outlines for each ancestor, family group records and pedigree charts, in a family bible or beautifully adorned journal is once again gaining momentum.

Even though most people are completely comfortable working with a computer, there is something to be said for keeping a fine penmanship record of your ancestors’ past. You not only keep your family history alive you also contribute to preserving the keeping of private and public records using the fine art of handwriting.

It may be time to treat yourself, and future generations, to a fine heirloom pen that can not only record your family’s current activities; it can be used by your great-great-grandchildren in many years to come.

Here’s a good starting point of suggested pens to get your search going:


Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Faber Castell E-Motion Fountain Pen Review

Faber-Castell E-Motion Pure Black Fountain Pen
Faber-Castell E-Motion Pure Black Fountain Pen
The e-motion has long been one of the most popular Faber-Castell lines available.  It has mainly been built with a wood or precious resin body and metal front section, cap and rear section.  Faber-Castell’s latest iteration is a whole metal affair – the Pure Black edition.  This is a modern looking, minimalist designed writing instrument. The body is made of an anodized aluminum with a guilloche pattern engraved on it, which offers a tactile feel and grip without being too rough.  The front section, cap and end piece are chrome plated and then finished in matte black.  The fountain pen’s nib is stainless steel coated in PVD, and is available in Fine, Medium or Broad. Faber-Castell also offers this line in Rollerball, Ballpoint or Mechanical Pencil.  The fountain pen uses international size cartridges and a converter is included.
 While a bit shorter than most other pens, the tapered cylindrical shape allows the e-motion to fill the hand.  The all metal construction leads to a weighty pen – 1.9 oz as measured on our postal scale.  The cap is .7 oz and the body is 1.2 oz.  While somewhat shorter in stature than most pens, the Pure Black does not feel inconsequential. Posted, the length is just right and I found the shorter body and heavy cap to create an overall well balanced writing experience – the combination of the smoothness of the nib and the weight of the pen made writing with the e-motion very enjoyable.  I like the feel of the guilloche pattern on the body, and the front section is of a good diameter as well.  The nib is removable, making cleaning a breeze.  If I had to choose one issue, it would be that the guilloche pattern traps dust and lint very easily, and the black color makes this easy to see.  However, a quick wipe with a cloth and it goes back to looking brand new.  Something that I really like about the finish on this piece is that it will not readily show fingerprints, unlike chrome plated pens.
 The Faber-Castell e-motion Pure Black fountain pen is by far one of my favorites – It is understated, yet catches your eye; it is shorter, yet has a surprisingly nice weight; it is easy to clean, easy to write with, and should be on everyone’s must-try list.
- Joe (Pen Boutique Limited, 5560 Sterrett Place, Columbia, MD 21044)

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Ink Trivia


Question: What is the difference between a Ballpoint pens/refills and Rollerball pens/refills?

Answer: Ballpoint pen refills use a thick oil based ink where the ball in the pen nib pushes the ink on to the paper. Ballpoint pens have a thick ink that does not evaporate easily. A cap is not necessary. Ballpoint ink is less likely to bleed through the paper.

A Rollerball pen is more related to the fountain pen as it uses a water based ink. The Rollerball pen and refill was first introduced to fit the demands of loyalists of fountain pens that missed the use of a wetter ink. Rollerball ink spreads on paper widely and goes inside the paper a little deeper than oil-based ink of a ballpoint pen.

Since the water based ink of a Rollerball pen has a higher rate of drying out, having a cap is absolutely necessary for this pen to cover the pen nib when not in use.

Most Ballpoint and Rollerball refills are offered in fine and medium size, some brands offer broad.

Pen Trivia

Pens have been used as props in motion pictures for years.

Director Stanley Kubrick was indeed ahead of his time, and no film shows that more than 1968’s “2001”. The effects for the time are rather remarkable. The film opens up with a simple pen floating in zero gravity. Today, you would be able to computerize it in. But in 1968 it was an impressive scene.

In the 1998 movie "Enemy of the State" with Will Smith and Gene Hackman there was a scene where Smith's character takes apart his Parker 51 looking for a tracking device.

The character Veronica, played by Winona Ryder, used a Montblanc pen to write in her diary in the teen favorite movie teen “Heathers”.

In “A Beautiful Mind” a young prodigy named John Nash (played by Russell Crowe) begins to develop paranoid schizophrenia and endures delusional episodes. Towards the end of the film he is being interviewed by a member of the Nobel Committee, when his Princeton colleagues present him with their pens. In others words, the pens are symbolic of the respect they have for the mathematical genius.

Question: What pen brand is predominantly featured in the “Breakfast Club”?

Answer: It was a Lamy Safari Ballpoint that Brian was putting up his nose in the movie “The Breakfast Club”.

Writing Corner

“The perfect pen and the perfect paper and me working on work that pleases me and has no note for the critics.” - John Steinbeck

Edgar Allan Poe believed that handwriting is an indication of character revealing our “mental qualities.” Indeed, the marks we leave on the paper are our most intimate of thoughts. Few exercises offer the not always seamless collaboration between brain and body like that direct line of the brain and the tip of the pen reaching paper creating copy.

John Steinbeck (February 27, 1902–December 20, 1968) captures this curious role of the pen as a negotiator between brain and body in a series of disarming observations in Working Days: The Journals of The Grapes of Wrath. This remarkable volume that gives us a glimpse of how the great writer used the diary as a tool of discipline and a hedge against self-doubt when he embarked on the most intense writing experience of his life, the masterwork that earned him the Pulitzer Prize and his Nobel Prize.

Writer Quotes

“In composing, as a general rule, run your pen through every other word you have written; you have no idea what vigor it will give your style.” - Sydney Smith

“I love writing. I love the swirl and swing of words as they tangle with human emotions.” - James Michener

“If you can't write your idea on the back of my calling card, you don't have a clear idea.” - David Belasco

“Everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt. “- Sylvia Plath

“The act of putting pen to paper encourages pause for thought, this in turn makes us think more deeply about life, which helps us regain our equilibrium.” - Norbet Platt

Engraved Pen Gifts

As early as 60,000 BC, humans engraved ostrich eggshells used as water containers. These eggs are the first sign of humans engraving patterns. More advanced engraving developed over time and by the reign of the Egyptian and Greek empires engraving as a form of documentation and communication had developed. Again, to this date documentation from ancient Egyptians remain in museums around the world, leaving an engraved insight into an ancient world.

In addition to being a form of communication and documentation, engraving was used to reproduce printed artwork, documentation and in printing. Engraving has been used to create printing templates out of metal to reproduce newspapers, books, currency and art. To this day, engravings are used to produce unique moulds to create intricate currency the world over.

An engraved pen is a personalized gift that lasts forever. Graduations are the ideal time to give a gift that shows you know the former student has accomplished much and you congratulate the efforts.
Pen Boutique specializes in fine writing instrument engravings. We take great pride in personalizing with precision.

Here are some suggestions for the accomplished graduate on your shopping list:


Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Mother’s Day Moment Winner

***************************WINNER ANNOUNCEMENT *************************

CONGRATULATIONS!!! Heather Laishley.

Sharing her Mother’s Day Moment on our Facebook timeline, Heather Laishley wrote, “One of my many favorite Mother's Day moments with my mom is when I bought her a ring that she really wanted. Also bought her the matching charm for my little brother to give to her. The smiles on our faces and the tears that filled her eyes I will never forget.” The gesture she made to her mother on Mother’s Day didn’t only win her our hearts but also earned her the most likes in the contest. And so as per the rules of the contest, Ms. Laishley has won “Waterman Elegance Ivory GT Fountain Pen” worth $555.00.

Pen Boutique hopes she enjoys using the Waterman fountain pen, as much as she has enjoyed winning it. Congratulations once again!!

Sunday, May 31, 2015

World No Tobacco Day

Did you know? 

- Every second one person dies from a tobacco-related disease.
- In the United States, over 20% of all deaths are from tobacco.
- Tobacco smoke contains more than 4,000 chemical.
- In the 20th century 100 million deaths were caused by tobacco. In the 21st century tobacco-related death has reached an estimated 1 billion.

Despite all the death by tobacco consumption, the tobacco industry is flourishing every single day. In 2010 alone the revenue earned by the tobacco industry was $664 billion. This is more than the GDP of all but 18 nations in the world. But what is worst that trade of tobacco products is the illicit trading that doesn’t only raise concern on health, but also economy, legislations, governance and corruption. According to various studies, the illicit tobacco trade market accounts for around one in every 10 cigarettes consumed globally. And it is not just the economic threat such trade possess that should concern us. The reason why we should be fighting illicit trade of tobacco product has to do with the fact that such products hook young people into tobacco use because they are cheaper. The illegal tobacco trade robs the government from the tax revenue that could have been used in public service and education. So, while there is a lot of wrong in consumption and production of tobacco itself, we should also be worried about the harms that illegal trade of tobacco causes.

Hence, this World No Tobacco Day, 31 May 2015 WHO (World Health Organization) and partners are “calling on countries to work together to end the illicit trade of tobacco products.” Join in the fight and make a difference.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Ink Trivia

You have more choices than you think. Blue writing ink is the most popular color used for pens. To simply say you want to use blue ink does not narrow it down as to your choice. As with many colors, blue ink is available in many shades such as Sapphire, Regency, Blue Velvet, Royal, Midnight, Imperial, Cobalt, Cerulean, Electric, Blue Suede and Mediterranean. Pen Boutique also carries many brands that offer blue including Waterman, Parker, Noodler’s Ink, Pilot-Namiki, Cross, Lamy, Diamine, Faber-Castell, Sheaffer, Montblanc and Sailor.

Question: What color helps you to remember?

Answer: You are more likely to remember something if you write it down in blue ink.

Pen Trivia

Translations can be a tricky thing. One needs to be mindful of all the idiosyncrasies of the language. Jolly Green Giant translated into Arabic, for example, means "Intimidating Green Ogre."

When the Parker Pen Company marketed a ballpoint pen in Mexico, its ads were supposed to say "It won't leak in your pocket and embarrass you." However, the company mistakenly thought the Spanish word "embarazar" meant embarrass. Instead the ad said that "It won’t leak in your pocket and make you pregnant."

Question: What pen company was retained by the British Royal household as the sole proprietor of inks and pens?

Answer: The Parker Pen Company was awarded the Royal warrant as sole supplier of pens and inks to the British Royal Household in 1962. This is an honor to which it retains to this day.

Writing Corner

Far Eastern calligraphy is an art within art, a way of life, and a path to immortality. Just like love fills the heart, calligraphy fills our souls, nourishing a new sense of life born out of selflessness, absence of pride in the fertile soil of a pure mind. It can intrigue you by stimulating the deepest layers of sensitivity accessible to a human being. Life experience adds a lot of flavor to one’s work. In this capacity, it cannot be learned, and it ought to be experienced, it cannot be rushed, but it must be earned.

The importance of choosing the ink, whether using a calligraphy brush, calligraphy pen or an everyday fine instrument, is also held in high regard as a critical element in Far Eastern calligraphy and writing. Two of the most popular ink bottle brands that are mainstays in today’s eastern and western cultures are Sailor and Pilot Namiki Iroshizuku, both originating from Japan.
You too can embrace the Eastern way of mindful thoughtfulness is by choosing these captivating inks.



Writer Quotes

“My two fingers on a typewriter have never connected with my brain. My hand on a pen does, a fountain pen, of course. Ball-point pens are only good for filling out forms on a plane.” -
Graham Greene, English playwright and novelist

“The pen is the tongue of the mind.” -  Horace, leading Roman lyric poet during the time of Augustus

“Steadily my pen filled the sheet and those long-thought-out words came nearer and nearer.” -
C. S. Forester, British historical novelist

“In a mood of faith and hope my work goes on. A ream of fresh paper lies on my desk waiting for the next book. I am a writer and I take up my pen to write.” -  Pearl S. Buck, Pulitzer Prize winning American author

"Every writing career starts as a personal quest for sainthood, for self-betterment. Sooner or later, and as a rule quite soon, a man discovers that his pen accomplishes a lot more than his soul." - Joseph Brodsky, Russian born American poet

Porsche Design

In an age when most of its competitors have been absorbed into larger manufacturers, Porsche remains a staunchly — and profitably — independent maker of high-performance sports cars. The Porsche name has become synonymous with sports cars and racecars because that is what company founders Ferdinand Porsche and his son Ferdinand ("Ferry") set out to build when they first set up shop with 200 workers in 1948. This established well-respected name lives on with its branding of Porsche Design fine writing instruments.

Established in 1972, possessing a Porsche Design accessory has been the dream of many. Porsche Design products have been synonymous with functional, timeless, and puristic design. Porsche has been producing car-related accessories since the 1950s. In the decades that followed, numerous classic men’s accessories such as watches, eyeglasses, and writing utensils were created and marketed worldwide. In the year 2012 Porsche Design celebrated 40 Years of their prestigious company. Pen Boutique has been selling Porsche Design writing tools and leather accessories since the beginning and we are proud to say that it has met all the expectations of our customers in terms of perfection, style and functionality. Their unique style, marvelous design and engineering all make it one of the most favorite brands of all time; no wonder the brand is honored with its “Writing tools that define physics”.” Treat yourself and take a spin at the wheel of an exceptional pen!





Thursday, May 21, 2015

World Day for Cultural Diversity

As popular the notion of virtual reality bringing the world together is there is something more that keeps the world and the people together. That thing is cultural diversity.  In November, 2001 the UN General Assembly recognized the role of culture in enabling sustainable development and saw its potential as a source of new ideas and way of thinking. By the end of the next year, the General Assembly had declared 21 May to be the World Day for Cultural Diversity. The observance is the reminder of the rich hub of cultural diverseness that our world is and its importance.

The day is an opportunity to understand the value of cultural diversity and to learn to live together in peace and harmony. Also, the day magnifies the values we can learn from one culture and teach to other, and in doing so develop together. The day also carries a powerful message about social and cultural inclusion, and to some extent can prove to be a tool to eradicate bullying and discrimination. Pen Boutique is proud to be a team with members from diverse communities, races and cultures. Together with all our differences, uniqueness and ways of thinking, we make the company better.  And if the company can function smoothly despite and because of the diverseness, we believe that the world can too.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Lamy Wild Rubin (ruby) Studio Pens

Lamy Wild Rubin Studio Pens
Lamy Wild Rubin Studio Pens
The Lamy Wild Rubin (ruby) Studio pens have finally arrived!  The pictures I first saw of the Wild Rubin reminded me of the Lamy Royal Red color.  Boy, was I wrong.  The true color of the Wild Rubin does not come through in the pictures.  The Ruby color is shimmery and bright, not a matte color at all.
The Wild Rubin has a stainless steel barrel and polished chrome accents.  It has the iconic propeller clip.  The fountain pen and rollerball are the same style as previous colors, but the ballpoint is now tapered and has a longer front section.  The finish is smooth and lacquered, not the usual satin metal finish.
The fountain pen is available with a stainless steel nib or a 14k nib, both pens come with a converter and ink cartridge to start writing right away.  The 14k fountain pen arrives in a gift box with a bottle of blue ink.
All in all - these are beautiful pens and a great addition to any pen lovers collection.

- Joy (Pen Boutique LTD, Suite 115, Columbia, MD 21044)

Monday, May 11, 2015

Waterman Expert Pen Review

If you are looking for a fountain pen that is an example of simple elegance and masculine grace, the Waterman Expert is an ideal option at an affordable price.

The Waterman Expert has a simple, classic design that is sophisticated by small details.The body is made of a rich black high quality lacquer and has a rounded cigar shape.  The cap has a sleek design with a stylish slanted head and reliable steel clip, with the Waterman logo. The cap also snaps securely when posted. The body has a light to medium weight and when posted has a medium that is substantial without feeling top heavy. The grip is slightly thinner than the rest of the body and shaped to give one’s fingers a firm hold, while the pen rests gently in one’s hand.

The writing experience of the Waterman Expert is a pleasure at a fair price. The pen has a very smooth nib for a steel piece. With the medium nib, some light pressure is needed to get started, yet once it does it flows evenly and with little effort. The gold quality performance is rarely scratchy. Writing curves is exceptionally smooth and easy, while lines take a slight amount of effort.  The pen has the option of taking Waterman cartridges or a Waterman converter.

Made in France, the Waterman Expert is a wonderful choice whether as a gift for any holiday or a gift to oneself as a dependable but smooth everyday writer.

- Babak - Pen Boutique Ltd, Montgomery Mall Store.

Spring with MontBlanc’s Pink Ink

Celebrate spring with Mont Blanc’s Pink Ink. It is the perfect ink to spruce up any diary or journal and get your doodling juices flowing.

The bright pink box that the ink comes in is a departure from Mont Blanc’s typically understated packaging, but that is part of the fun with this ink.

Mont Blanc Pink is probably not going to be an everyday carry for most folks, but if you like pink you will like this shade. It is a fun ink to doodle with as it shades well and dries fairly quickly. I inked up my Hot Pink Safari so I could test different nib sizes. The larger the nib, the darker the ink appears.

I also compared it to another popular pink ink, Iroshizuku  Kosumosu (Pink). The Mont Blanc Pink is a tad brighter and a slightly deeper shade of pink than the Kosumosu.

Pen used for the Mont Blanc Pink Ink is a Pilot Prera Pink, with a Calligraphy (CM) nib. Pen used for Iroshizuku Kusomosu is a Pilot demonstrator with a Calligraphy (CM) nib.

-Linda, Pen Boutique Ltd, Columbia Store.

Caran d"Ache 849 Ballpoint Pen

I have had a Caran d"Ache 849 Ballpoint pen for over a year and it has never let me down. The hexagonal shape, the unique click forwarding device, the finely engineered push button mechanism and its compact, but not too small, pen size makes this one of my favorite pens that is always ready to go. In fact, I liked it so much that when my nephew started college I gave him one as a gift. I enjoy color options with my ink refills. Monterverde Parker Style gel refills fit snuggly in this pen. This allows me some of my favorite options with Turquoise, Blue/Black and Purple readily available.

The Caran d'Ache 849 Ballpoint pen now comes in a Goldbar design. It is coated in a gold-toned satin finish barrel and its fittings are plated with sparkling gold that easily pick-up the light. The outer box is almost as impressive, being made of the very same materials and resembling a gold bar. The box also sports a handy magnetic closing, so you can be assured that your writing instrument is secure. This beauty also has a gold plated clip which adds to its overall effect. No I do not NEED a new Caran d'Ache pen, but the ownership of this one is so inviting. I already know of the brand's reliability, so there is no trepidation in purchasing another. The time maybe now to treat myself to a gift!

 - Vicki (Pen Boutique, Ltd, 5560 Sterrett Place, Suite 101, Columbia, Maryland 21044)

Monday, May 4, 2015

Ink Trivia - Bottles vs. cartridges/Instructions for use

Ink Trivia

Ink Bottles: Bottles vs. cartridges/Instructions for use

Although it is a personal preference, there is a cost benefit factor in choosing ink bottles over ink cartridges for your fountain pen. According to research done by Noodler’s a 4.5 oz bottle of their ink has the amount of ink equal to $72.94 worth of the least costly retail ink cartridges in the world. In addition, Noodler’s Ink has a reputation for being good quality, is safe for all fountain pens and comes in a wide range of colors. Using bottled ink when you can makes sense – it is easier on the environment and it is by far a much better deal than ink cartridges.
Bottled fountain pen inks can be used in any fountain pen having a converter, piston-fill, or other reservoir system. Start by lowering your fountain pen nib into the ink bottle. Depending on the model you have, you can either draw up ink by screwing or pulling the converter. Remove the nib and don't forget to wipe it with a lint-free cloth.

Question: What are the advantages of using Noodler’s Polar Black and Polar Blue ink?
Answer: “Freeze Resistant Inks” include Polar Blue and Polar Black, which will resist forming a solid mass of ice within a glass ink bottle during most cold weather conditions (though they will form some harmless ice “slush” when very cold). The first “Polar” ink was “freeze proof” to -114° F, but the reformulated Polar inks made from 2006 and later have a faster dry time, better flow rate, and are basic “freeze resisting” inks to avoid expansion. 

Pen Trivia - What date did man first land on the moon?

Pen Trivia

Of course a pen’s primary use is to write. Sometimes, however, they become magical instruments.

A Fisher Space pen earned its astronaut wings most famously during the Apollo 11 flight. An arming switch that allowed Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong to lift off from the moon’s surface broke and they used a Fisher Space pen as a substitute lever earning a place in the official mission log and space flight history.

Questions: What date did man first land on the moon?

Answer: July 20, 1969

Writing Corner - Wild Bill Hickok Last Letter to his Wife

Wild Bill Hickok
Last Letter to his Wife

One of the beauties of a hand written letter is that they can live on long after the writer is gone. Be the reason sentimental or historical, reading a hand written letter from long ago packs an emotional response like nothing else.
James Butler Hickok, also known as Wild Bill Hickok, was a skilled gunfighter and lawman from the American old west. He was also a professional gambler between his law-enforcement duties. On August 2, 1876, Hickok was playing poker at Deadwood, in the Black Hills of Dakota Territory. He had a premonition Deadwood would be his last camp, and expressed this belief to his friends who were traveling with him at the time. Shortly before his death, he wrote a letter to his new wife, which read: “Agnes Darling, if such should be we never meet again, while firing my last shot, I will gently breathe the name of my wife — Agnes — and with wishes even for my enemies I will make the plunge and try to swim to the other shore.” J.B. Hickok Wild Bill

Interesting Fact: Legend has it that before Hickok was shot he had lost all his money and had to borrow $50 from the house to continue playing. When shot, he was holding a pair of aces and a pair of eights, all black. The fifth card had been discarded and its replacement had not yet been dealt. In poker, a two-pair of aces and eights is known as the dead man’s hand. 

Featured Story - Fisher Space Pens

Fisher Space Pen

Fisher Space Pen has been an innovative American writing company since the early 1950s. In 1953, Paul Fisher invented the first “universal refill” which could be used in most ball point pens. However, always eager to discover the next great pen invention, Fisher went on to invent the first pressurized ball point refill. The refill was an overnight sensation. Made of a special semisolid ink and then pressurized with nitrogen, Fisher’s pressurized refill was guaranteed to write upside-down, underwater and was dependable in extreme temperatures of hot and cold. However, with the dawn of the NASA space age, the Fisher Space Pen was about to make history alongside American astronauts and space shuttles. Beginning with the Apollo 7 mission in 1968, Fisher Pen has become the standard writing instruments used by American astronauts in space. NASA originally purchased 400 of the pens at $6 each. The Soviets followed as well.
Some fans of Fisher Space pens like the line for the various vibrant colors offered, some are keen on the space exploration association, and others prefer the functional stylus. A group of fans request the clip, where others are clip-less disciples.
Whatever your preference, Fisher’s bullet pens are the perfect size to carry in your wallet, pocket, purse, car glove box, organizer or toolbox. With the cap posted it's a full sized, evenly balanced writing instrument.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Fun with Inkblots

Inkblots have been around as long as there has been ink.
The Rorschach test also known as the Rorschach inkblot test (or simply the inkblot test) is a psychological test in which subjects’ perceptions of inkblots are recorded and then analyzed using psychological interpretation. Some psychologists use this test to examine a person's personality characteristics and emotional functioning. The test is named after its creator, Swiss psychologist Hermann Rorschach. In the 1960s, the Rorschach was the most widely used projective test. In a national survey in the U.S., the Rorschach was ranked eighth among psychological tests used in outpatient mental health facilities
It is also fun to create inkblots by folding them together.
Start with the basics, as you scroll down, you will find more complex things to make and do with inkblots.
How to Make a Basic Inkblot
You will need:
Paper (light-medium weight art paper, or computer printer paper)
If you what to be really adventurous, try out some Rhodia smooth surface paper.
Ink (in a bottle use a dropper)
Try these fun Noodlers colors:
Water in a squeeze bottle (or apply with a brush or cotton swab)
Fold a piece of paper in half. Apply a dot or two of water, and a dot or two of ink.
Fold the paper, and apply pressure with the palm of your hand. Unfold.
What do you see?
Things to Do With Inkblots
Inkblots can help anyone neatly sidestep their logical brain to access their creative right brain right away.  What one sees in an inkblot can be the impetus for a short story for creative writers, aid in character development for the budding playwright, provide a visual workout for a visual artist, or even the beginnings of a more developed painting.
Drawing into Inkblots
As soon as you make an inkblot, you will start seeing things in them–fantastic creatures, monsters, landscapes, flowers and plants. If you don’t see anything at first, give yourself time!
You will need:
A few inkblots
Colored pencils
Such as:
 Black or colored gel pen
For fun you can customize your Parker Ballpoint pen with these gel refills:
Simply draw around what you see and color it in!
Inkblot Butterflies
You can make inkblot butterflies, color into them with colored pencils, and collage them on a page or in a diorama.  Prefold you paper, as instructed above, and apply ink on one half in a simple butterfly shape–one wing, perhaps with two lobes, a dot on each wing lobe, a quick line of ink for the body. Fold and unfold–a butterfly! Some will be more butterfly-like than others.
Questions: When was the Rorschach test first used?


Answer: The first publication of Hermann Rorschach's 10 inkblots was in 1921 as a monograph, Psychodiagnostik. For the 1940s and 1950s, the Rorschach was the test of choice in clinical psychology.

Pen Trivia

In recent weeks we have all learned some trivia about pens. What about the words they write?

Did you know the most commonly used letter in the alphabet is “E”?

Did you know the least used letter in the alphabet is “Q”?

Did you know the first letters of the months July through to November spell JASON?

Did you know the dot on top of the letter “I” is called a tittle?

Did you know 1 out of every 8 letters written is an “E”?

Did you know the word 'almost' is the longest in the English language with all the letters in alphabetical order?

Did you know the most commonly used word in English conversation is “I”?

Inspiring the young to write

In order to keep the art of writing, and writing in cursive penmanship, alive sometimes we all need a little inspiration. It is important to inspire our young ones to keep both arts alive. Here are some fun, sure-fire questions to prompt and get the young creative juices flowing.

1. If I was a super hero what kind of super hero would I be and what powers would I have (This can also be done using villains)?

2. If you were given 3 wishes what would they be and why?

3. If I could invent a new toy what kind of toy would I create and why?

4. If you could be invisible what would you do and why?

5. What would do if you won a million dollars?

6. Write about something you are really good at.

7. Write about 1 thing you want to learn about.

8. Write about a time when you worked really hard to get something.

9. What is the best thing someone has ever given to you?

10. What is the bravest thing you have ever done?