Monday, December 17, 2012

The Christmas Express is on the way

What I have found to be the most moving aspects of the Holiday Season is its unfailing ability to unify people of all backgrounds the world over. No matter one’s religious preferences or winter practices, a comforting, heartwarming spirit seems to infect the hearts of each and every one of us during this magical time of year. It’s hard to say why, but it seems that whenever the last leaves of autumn fall and the mornings bite with cold, the Holiday spirit comes out in full force. Along with the almost mystical feelings that the season invokes, it also brings with it a sense of charity and thoughtfulness that is unsurpassed by any other month of the year.
The idea of giving to those less fortunate is a tried and true moral of the holiday season that people seem to have a natural inclination towards. Whether it’s donating old clothes to Goodwill, giving to the Salvation Army, or even going the extra mile by heading down to the local soup kitchen and giving back to the local community, this time of year brings out people’s desire to help their fellow human being. It brings about the spirit of generosity that encompasses your being and compels you to give a little back for all that you’ve received over the year. Ultimately, the merging of your softened heart along with the hundreds of others in your community intermingles to create an air of peace and compassion unlike any before.
Just look outside: everything is slowly falling under the magic of the season, and there is no other season that was so perfectly made for giving. The warmth that fills your soul when you have given someone a heartfelt, selfless gift is something that not even a roaring fire could compete with. It’s a beautiful gift in and of itself – not only for the receiver, but for your heart and conscious as well. It’s a spark, a light, a movement that travels from person to person into a snowball of love and hospitality that truly embodies what the Holiday Season is all about.

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Monday, November 26, 2012

Top 10 Writing Instruments of 2012

It’s not quite over yet, but as far as I’m concerned 2012 has been an extremely eventful year. On the positive, the Queen had her Diamond Jubilee, China launched its first female astronaut into space, the 2012 Summer Olympics were held in London, Curiosity landed on Mars, and chances are good no kind of apocalyptic event will happen on the 21st of December. In addition to this notable, one-of-a-kind achievements, I believe it should also be noted that 2012 has been a particularly good years for the world of stationery and its subsequent accessories. The pens, pencils, inks and writing instruments released this year have been some of the absolute best I’ve ever seen. Whether they have heart, style, confidence, subtle beauty or a simply magnetic appeal, this year has seen the emergence of some truly remarkable pieces.
Therefore, the staff at Pen Boutique has decided to compile a list of what are arguably the best writing instruments this year has to offer. Whether you get them for yourself or decide to give them away as a beautiful and thoughtful gift this holiday season, the choice is yours! All I can guarantee is that each and every one of these instruments are sure to please.
10. The Metropolitan Museum of Arts Russian Imperial Rollerball Pen. Possessing a much nicer history than Russia’s actual imperial family, the Russian Imperial is based upon the works of Peter Carl Fabergé. A jeweler in late 19th century Petersburg, Russia, Fabergé managed to become the world’s greatest master of guilloche enameling. This type of coating is a time-intensive technique in which polychrome enamel is layered over circular, straight or wavy patterns that are engraved on metal. The Imperial Russian’s engraved opal pattern, available in either red or blue lacquer, is coated in translucent enamel. The pen’s 24k gold trims combined with a beautiful gold overlay cap top provides a regal, finished look to this luxurious design.
9. The Stipula Gladiator Steel Nib Fountain Pen. Talking about this pen makes me sorely want to re-watch the movie for the fourth time, but I suppose that will have to wait. Stipula has chosen to pay tribute to the memory of the Roman Gladiator; fearless warriors who are just as legendary and universally renowned as Roma itself. The Gladiator is available in three colors: deep sea blue, jet black and crimson. Each is a fitting reminiscence of the noble legacy of the Gladiator, and is only accented by its shined golden accents. The pen features the Roman Colosseum as a matte gold band around the resin barrel’s center while the nib is composed of antique gold-finished steel. The gold-colored clip is styled to resemble a gladius, a short sword used by Ancient Roman foot soldiers. The top of the pen’s cap features a Gladiator’s shield along with a trident, net and helmet, a fanciful repertoire of all of a gladiator’s traditional weaponry.
8. The Fisher Space Infinium Titanium Nitride Ballpoint Pen. This Fisher Executive Pen offers the heft, feel, style and boldness that today's office warrior simply can’t live without. The body of this piece possesses a reflective, black titanium nitride finish. The word “Infinium” is written across the length of the pen, and provides an exquisitely futuristic look to the pen’s monochrome theme. The permanently attached clip and slide-on cap embodies this pen’s excellent convenience and portability. As with all Fisher Space Pens, it offers extreme quality and durability on which you can always rely. So, whether you’re working inside or outside the office, the Infinium provides style and comfort in both writing and presentation.
7. The Delta Indigenous People Kanaka Maoli Hawaii SPEC Limited Edition Fountain Pen. In a collection that is limited to 100 pieces worldwide, the Delta Indigenous People Series has created an utter tour de force in honor of the Kanaka Maoli. Descendants of warriors and fisherman, these peoples are aborigines of an ancient island where the soul of the earth, sea and sky is in perfect harmony with the body and mind. They lived on an island that, not too long along, was its own kingdom; an island called Hawaii. The body of this tributary piece is hand-turned from solid bars of a new type of resin that has a natural, blue-green, sea-like coloring. The solid, sterling silver ring around the middle, possesses a flower-based pattern that features a natural aquamarine stone while the sterling silver clip is crafted in the form of an ancient Kanaka warrior mask. Both of these features are plated with 24K gold and enriched with a layer of pink gold to emphasize their intricate details. The fountain pen version contains a specially designed solid gold 18K nib decorated with a rendition of a Leiomano, a Hawaiian shark tooth weapon.
6. The Cross Tech3+ Stylus Accessory. I highly doubt there is a pen out there that could get any more convenient than the Tech3+. This pen is a brilliant combination of three totally different but equally important elements in the brave new world of writing: ballpoint pen, pencil and stylus. The ballpoint pen writes in black or red ink while the pencil uses 0.5mm lead. The stylus accessory, in my opinion, is the most ingenious aspect of the entire piece. At the opposite end of the pen is a conductive, soft, silicone rubber that conveys electrical signals to touch screen devices. The Tech3+ glides smoothly across any screen or sheet of paper. Available in a brilliant selection of five different colors (chrome, satin blue, satin black, satin chrome and frosty pink), the Tech3+ is fun, quirky, and extremely easy to use.
5. The Graf von Faber-Castell Pen of the Year 2012 Fountain Pen. The masterful collaboration of dozens of gold leaf sheets and ancient German wetland oak makes the 2012 Pen of the Year an extraordinary masterpiece. The wood’s deep, gnarled texture is beautifully exemplified by masterfully-applied coatings of 24K gold leaves and a final, strong resin coat. The application method dates back to an ancient Egyptian technique practiced 4,000 years ago. The 18K bicolor gold nib is available in widths of fine, medium and broad, with each one being ‘run in’ by hand. All metal fittings are 24K gold-plated. The end cap protects the twist knob filling mechanism and the crown is topped by a chessboard faceted citrine gemstone set into the cap. With its classical mystique and privileged air, this pen manages to capture the eye and heart in a dazzling display of light and beauty.
4. The Pilot Namiki Vanishing Point 2012 Charcoal Limited Edition Fountain Pen. Namiki’s newest Limited Edition Vanishing Point combines the cool allure of charcoal-colored marble with the irresistible appeal of rhodium trims to create a pen that is essential for your Vanishing Point collection. It has all the convenient attributes that makes a vanishing point a bestseller: a retractable point, a clip that keeps ink out of your pocket, and an effortless push-top mechanism. The nib is made of beautiful 18k White Gold that effortlessly compliments the pen’s silver-colored trimmings and dark, smoky body. (Unfortunately, it’s limited to only 850 pieces in the U.S., so make sure you get it before it’s too late!
3. The Lamy 2000 Brushed Stainless Steel Rollerball Pen. The LAMY 2000 series is a classic among designer writing instruments. Incredible manufacturing skills and a maximum level of precision were required in order to produce this absolutely timeless design. The seamless, partially hand finished body has a velvety, matt brushed stainless steel surface. The barrel’s platinum coating is further complimented by the pen’s polished, spring-mounted clip. The final product is a harmonic combination of high-end craftsmanship and complex technical processes.
2. The Parker Ingenuity Large GT Limited Edition Year of the Dragon Pen. This beautiful limited edition piece pays tribute to one of the most sacred mythical creatures in Chinese history. 2012 is the Year of the Dragon in the Chinese calendar, and Parker has created a piece that is just as breathtaking as it is culturally inspiring. Its sturdy body is coated with vibrant, maroon-colored Chinese lacquer. A striking, gold-plated acid-etched dragon wraps around the barrel in a pleasantly exotic design. The gilded creature is beautifully complimented by the 1.2mm gold plated barrel, cap and gold PVD trims. Completely an already enticing offer is the Ingenuity’s legendary flexible tip. Famed for its intuitive adjustment to the user’s writing style, it provides an exceptionally smooth and fluid writing experience. This one, also unfortunately, is limited to just 8,000 pieces. (I would think they would only make 1,202 – just to be clever, you know?)
1. Montblanc Jonathan Swift Black Broad Limited Edition Fountain Pen – Writer Series. Jonathan Swift, the author of Gulliver’s Travels and A Modest Proposal was a literary powerhouse with who now has a work of art to match. Montblanc’s Writers Edition has chosen 2012 to honor the forefather and trailblazer of what we now know to be satire. The Jonathan Swift Montblanc Pen’s black lacquer barrel is decorated with multilayered inlays designed to represent the ropes that were used to bind Gulliver when he visited Lilliput, the land of the tiny people, in his first adventure. The precious black resin cap is shaped like Gulliver’s tricorne and bears Jonathan Swift’s signature. A platinum-plated clip depicts the tall, beautiful staircase of the mayor of Lilliput while the delicately designed rhodium-plated 18K gold nib boasts an elaborate engraving of the Lilliput Imperial Army. The Jonathan Swift is a limited edition piece with restricted worldwide access. It is a gem of its generation. This series is an impeccable, stylish dedication to a man who managed to carve out his own place in the massive history of the English language.
So there you have it! 2012 saw the release of some truly remarkable pieces. Whether it’s the exotic styling of the Delta Maoli Hawaii, the cultural significance of the Year of the Dragon, the practicality of the Tech3+ or the sleek, silvery style of the Lamy 2000, each of these instruments has its own unique spark of individuality and beauty. Each and every one manages to be perfect for just about any situation: something for the office, a Christmas gift or for your own personal enjoyment! The holiday season is starting heat up, and it would be the shame of the year for you to miss all these fantastic deals. Good luck, and happy shopping!

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Thursday, November 1, 2012


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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Let the season begin….

If there is one thing Americans are relatively modest about, it’s our sports teams. The Olympics, for example, are always a popular, but never fanatical, success. We go, we cheer passionately, we make sure we come home with the most medals (or at the very least more than China), we produce a few athletic starlets, and then we come home, safe and secure in our international athletic dominance. This of course isn’t to say that we aren’t fiercely proud of our athletes and the years of hard work and dedication they put toward their sports. The Fab Five are certified angels, our women’s soccer have won hearts on and off the field, our basketball boys have continued resoundingly demolishing the international competition and at the end of the day none of us are complaining. It’s just that, on a whole, compared to our northern neighbor’s borderline terrifying pride in their hockey teams, our transatlantic friends’ unfathomable loyalty to their soccer teams, and our southern neighbors’ who have actually started wars over the aforementioned sport, Americans enjoy a successful, but comparatively subdued feeling towards our teams.
Football is the exception.
The Canadian riots that take place at the conclusion of every Stanley Cup and the Brit’s unfailing loyalty to their soccer teams that, well, aren’t that good, all utterly pale in comparison to violent and undying allegiance Americans have toward their football teams. The dedicators typically fall into one of three categories: the casual but loyal fan, the fan who has made football a certified study and knows the statistics and trade history of every NFL player of importance, and the ‘die-hard heaven forbid you ever utter a single derogatory statement about their favorite team lest you risk having your lights punched out’ fan. (No exaggeration, I’ve actually seen grown adults get into physical altercations inside their place of business over football teams.) It doesn’t even matter how good or bad the team is – they can be the absolute worst team in the entire league – but if you get on the wrong side of a die-hard fan, you should never expect anything less than getting the stuffing beaten out of you in the dead of night and your car getting totaled via sledgehammer. (You think I’m joking? I assure you, my metaphors are quite tame compared to what actually happen to some poor unfortunate souls.) Believe you me, the shenanigans that goes on during Eastern European soccer matches is child’s play to veteran football fans, and from what I’ve seen in the news recently, that’s saying something.
September 5th officially started this year’s football season, and the whole shebang won’t be over until February 3, 2013 with Super Bowl XLVII (47). Since we’re in the very beginning of the regular season, that coveted cup is up for grabs and it’s literally anyone’s game at this point (depending on who you ask). With all these new hopefuls arriving on the field this season, it’s only reasonable that you add a whole new lineup to your writing repertoire. The first player on the green is the Lamy 2000 Brushed Stainless Steel Fountain Pen. A staggering amount of manufacturing skills and precision levels were required to create this timeless design using only one material: stainless steel. After extensive processing and designing, the Lamy 2000’s finished product possesses a high-end, velvet, matt brushed body. Its seamless, partially hand-finished surface is shaped to provide the optimum in form and function. For those of you who want a little more color, Sheaffer and Scuderia Ferrari are proud to present the Sheaffer Ferrari 100 Rollerball Pen. Its sleek, bold design features either a fire red or midnight black body with silver-colored rings and accents. At the highest level of quality, each pen proudly displays the Ferrari emblem upon the cap and the renowned “White Dot” of excellence on the clip. Each instrument reflects the same profound passion, extraordinary talent and incredible expertise that drives the Ferrari company. (I will refrain from making an awful pun.) The last, but most certainly not least, player up for grabs is the Monteverde Poquito Stylus XL Ballpoint Pen. This pen has been redesigned with a consideration for convenience, practicability and stylish new colors. The soft rubber stylus is as responsive as fingers on a touch screen, but offers better accuracy and leaves no fingerprints. The piece is compatible with smart phones, tables, GPS, E-readers as well as public ATMS and airport kiosks. With colors ranging from Graphie Grey to violet to turquoise, this is a universal gift that any techie would love to have.
Whether it’s the aforementioned gems or one of the many others who have just arrived from the factory, you need to make sure you’re looking sharp this season. Your favorite teams certainly are, and how would it look if you didn’t represent them accordingly? So get your pens, get your jersey, get your giant foam finger, and get yourself to a TV, ‘cause this thing only comes once a year and it’s something you certainly don’t want to miss.

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Sunday, August 19, 2012

Back to school…Labor Day ,End of Summer..

Despite it having no inherent celebratory traditions that I am aware of, Labor Day manages to be one of the most widely recognized holidays in North America. Not because anyone actually spends time to appreciate the working class (which I think is the actual point), but because it is the official “end” of summer. There are no more family reunions, bonfires, impromptu visits to the beach, amusement parks, pool parties, road trips and all the other things that make summers the highlight of the year. Like the dull feeling of dread you get before you go to bed on a Sunday night, Labor Day heralds forth a new season that crams together and intensifies feelings of stress and worry into one shopping-packed month that will make you never want to set foot into a WalMart or Target ever again.
Buying supplies for young ones is easy. Other than new clothes and a backpack to replace the ruined one from last year, the usual materials will be pens, pencils, colored pencils, notebooks, marble notebooks, and just to be safe a pack of markers. When kids get older, say High School, teachers inexplicably get the urge to send you and your kids on a city-wide hunt to collect the most absurd and utterly arbitrary materials you have ever seen listed on a sheet of paper titled School Supplies. This tiring crusade, which could take a couple days to complete, is so time-consuming and exhausting that it makes you want to drive down to the schoolhouse and demand to know what your kids could possibly be doing with the items requested. (Why is it mandatory for them to have HB-H1 drawing pencils in Art 1? A shaded baseball should be the most complicated thing they’re drawing at that point, and it certainly doesn’t require the aforementioned materials.).
College students, on the other hand, face a whole other type of monster. In their case, it’s not so much the amount of off-the-wall materials or the time it takes to acquire them, it’s the cost. It’s my personal opinion that a major reasons kids don’t go to college is because no one in their right mind wants to pay $145.00 to rent a textbook on Medical Transcription Techniques that they will use, hopefully, at least three times before having to give it back.
Despite all of these seasonal stresses, there is undeniably something a little bit exciting – in the beginning, anyway – about restocking your shelves, backpacks and briefcases with Back-To-School materials. There will always be something gratifying about the smell and feel of crisp, factory manufactured, paper crinkling softly as you leaf through the pages. There will always be something comforting about opening a new pack of multi-colored pencils and momentarily debating which one you want to write with first. There will always – and this is as close as I can get to a guarantee – be a freeing feeling when your pen glides across your papers and leaves a distinctive flourish with every swish and swipe of the nib.
For the little ones, the Pelikano Starter Nib Fountain Pen’s light heft, sturdiness and eye-catching fluorescent colors make it a perfect starter for their journey into the world of education and fine penmanship. The Lamy Safari Lime Green Fountain Pen is a little narrower and more sophisticated, but its bright green barrel doesn’t let it lose an ounce of playfulness. For those who want something a little more sleek and chic, the Joy Calligraphy Fountain pen is the way to go. This beautiful expression of personality and individuality boasts a shiny black plastic body that is stylishly complimented by a bright red spring brass wire clip and a stainless steel nib. For the more conservative spenders, the Sheaffer Calligraphy Maxikit possesses everything you will need to be a master calligrapher. There are three pen color-coded nib grades (fine, medium and broad) and two ink cartridges per pen that all come together to create a product containing all the ideal instruments for calligraphers of every level. For those who wish to spend a little extra in a gift for a loved one going off to college or starting a new corporate job this fall, the Visconti Rembrandt Calligraphy Pen Set is a truly heartwarming gift. The set includes 2 German made palladium-plated nib sections (italic 0.5, italic 1.5 and medium), a bottle of black Visconti ink, 2 pen holders, a Visconti calligraphy booklet, Visconti blotting paper and three converters. Made from variegated resin, each pen is made unique through subtle marbling of color in a stunning replication of the Rembrandt painting technique, Chiaroscuro. No matter what you get – or don’t get, depending on how frustrated you end up getting – this Back-To-School season, make sure they’re items that make you feel just a little bit warmer inside when you pull them out on the first day of school. Items that make you feel, secretly, somewhere in a tiny long-lost corner of your heart, that you actually genuinely enjoyed supply shopping.
Until Labor Day rolls around again, that is.

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Monday, July 30, 2012

London Olympics 2012 …Race for Gold and Glory

No one actually knows how the Olympics originated. The genesis of τὰ Ὀλύμπια (ta Olympia), as it was known in Ancient Greece, is shrouded in mystery, myth and legend, but it is believed that they began around 776 BC in Olympia, Greece. The Games were held every four years (an Olympiad) and were a way for the various Greek City-States to impose their power, influence and culture over their neighbors all along the Mediterranean.
As a whole, Ancient Games were a lot less complex than their contemporary counterparts. For starters, only men could compete in the games. In fact, only men could even watch the games, which is understandable considering that all athletes competed au naturel. The events were simple strength and skill events, mostly consisting of the discus, wrestling, chariot-racing, track, and the javelin. There was no canoe sprint, handball, trampoline, modern pentathlon or whatever other crazy skill that now constitutes an Olympic sport. (I don’t dislike the modern pentathlon; I know for a fact I could not hold a candle to that kind of athleticism. It’s just, that’s not even a sport; it is five totally unrelated sports all rolled into one event.) The Games were also so important that wars were put on hold so that athletes could travel and compete in safety. (The simple courtesy of putting a war on pause for a sporting event is a concept that is beyond the comprehension of the modern world, as the 6th, 12th and 13th Olympics were all canceled because of World Wars.) The Ancient Games continued without interruption until 394 AD when they were suppressed by Theodosius I of the Roman Empire. The next Olympic Games would not be held until 1896, and would not have been possible had it not been for the French Baron Pierre de Coubertin. Coubertin founded the International Olympic Committee (IOC) which is the official organizer for the modern Olympic, Youth Olympic Games and Winter Olympics. (This competition has its own set of peculiar competitions, in my opinion, like the Biathlon and Curling.)
So, all the work a host country has to go through to plan the Games, we really can’t begrudge them a little bragging rights, now can we? The Olympic Opening Ceremony (which is the biggest platform for peaceful bragging I think a country could ever hope for) is the official “Beginning” of the Olympics. Though most follow a basic, traditional outline, just about everything else is at the discretion of the Host Country. For the rest of the ceremony, the Host Country will put on a series of musical events, plays, stories, dances, and whatever else their Olympic Committees can think of that perfectly emulates the spirit, pride and traditions of their country. Ever since 1980, the Opening Ceremony has grown in scale and complexity, with the Opening Ceremony at the Beijing Games costing over $100 million dollars.
There are not enough things that could be said about the Beijing Opening Ceremony, and everyone from the President of the IOC to Steven Spielberg have given it almost reverential reviews, but I believe former British Prime Minister Tony Blair summed it up best when he called it “the spectacular to end all spectaculars and probably can never be bettered.” It would take an entire book to compile everything that happened during the Beijing Opening Ceremony, but I can say with full confidence that it is something everyone on earth should see at least once, because it was without a doubt a modern wonder of the world. So with China receiving such glowing responses and a performance that will be talked about for the rest of living memory and beyond, it was well within reason to be a little bit concerned for 2012’s champion: England.
The one question on everyone’s mind was, Are you ready, England? We weren’t entirely sure until July 27th, but according to the Olympic posters that cover almost every square inch of London’s airports, subways, train stations, bus stops and taxis; we can tell how the Brits felt about this question. All of these posters proudly, simply, and quite epically have only two words next to an Olympic Gold Medal: We’re Ready. Well, it’s safe to say that ready they were – though in was not nearly as dramatic, or flashy, or a light-show of epic proportions, London’s Opening Ceremony was distinctly British. It was about the people of the British Isles, their culture, their music, their literature, their contribution to the world, and it must be said that the event was just as beautiful as Beijing’s in its own right. (Though in my opinion, that epic combination of The Queen and Daniel Craig doing James Bond acrobatics and a legion of Mary Poppins doing battle with a 100-foot tall replica of Voldemort was enough to trump China’s Opening Ceremony in one fell swoop.)
Despite all the anticipation for the Opening Ceremony, most Americans are focused on supporting and seeing their athletes compete on a global scale. All of Team USA’s talented athletes could not have made it to London alone, however, and from the first whistle till the last flag is raised, they will need the love and support of all their countrymen. So get some patriotism going for the last few days of July and the month of August and take a look at a selection of new arrivals. First up is Lamy’s Studio Royal Red Fountain Pen(Preorders Taken now), reminiscent of the Stars and Stripes, it is a special edition of the already successful Lamy Studio Series. With a metallic body colored in an attractive matt red style, it boasts a 14k anodized bi-color gold nib available in extra fine, fine, medium and broad. Next is the Retro51 Tornado Vintage collection, whose finished pieces are aged to perfection. Every member is named after an American president and has a classically, enchanting style. From acid-etchings covered with an antique finish to diamond cuts coated with classic lacquer for a textured feel, these pieces are the pinnacle of design perfection. Last but certainly not least is the Lamy 2000 Brushed Stainless Steel(Preorders taken). It is the newest in a series that has been manufactured, using a combination of polycarbonate and stainless steel, for over 40 years. The Lamy 2000 has all the finesse, velvetiness and executive appeal that are common in all Olympians. Prepare yourself, because the London 2012 Games, and this divine selection, are treasures that simply cannot be missed.

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Monday, July 16, 2012

Earth Moon Stars and Pens..Take a giant step towards writing

At the beginning of the 1900s, the fascination of science fiction began to take root in the hearts and minds of the Western world. The works of visionaries like H.G. Wells’ War of The Worlds and Jules Verne’s From the Earth To The Moon, fueled the idea of space travel, making it a constant fixture in the human imagination. Despite its enchantment, the idea of spaceflight did not become an engineering possibility until 1919 with Robert H. Goddard’s publication of A Method of Reaching Extreme Altitudes, a paper that outlined the capabilities of interplanetary travel and became extremely influential for future spaceflight innovators. Indeed, it would not be until the “space race” between the former Soviet Union (USSR) and the United States in 1957 that the very idea of humans in space seemed to be a distinct possibility.

Even though Americans can proudly boast the amazing feat of placing the first man on the moon, the Soviet Union (and subsequently Russia) has the honor of putting the first man into space. On 12, 1961 Yuri Gagarin made one orbit around the Earth in the Vostok 1 spacecraft, effectively establishing his place in history. Two years later, after being selected out of more than four hundred applicants and then out of five finalists, the Soviets chose Valentina Tereshkova to become the first woman in space as the pilot the Vostok 6 .

Though Tereshkova was the first in a long line of female astronauts, she most certainly is not the last. From Sally Ride, the first American woman in space, to Svetlana Savitskaya, the first woman to walk on the moon; Mae Jemison, the first African-American in space; Ellen Ochoa, the first Hispanic woman in space and Eileen Collins, the first female shuttle pilot and commander, women have been a major part of space programs around the world. 56 of the 525 total space travelers in history have been women, and the latest to join these prestigious ranks is Liu Yang from China. She is a major in the People’s Liberation Army Air Force, a veteran pilot with over 1,600 hours of flying experience and on June 16, 2012 she became the first Chinese woman in space. During her two years of astronaut training, Miss Liu excelled at all her tests before being chosen over another woman candidate for the honor of flying. As if this was not enough to immortalize her in the history of not only her nation, but the world, the same space flight she participated in was the first manned mission to the Chinese space station Tangong 1.

The pen world proudly salutes these space pioneers with several commemorative pen sets. For China’s historic mission, the perfect piece to bring a little bit of mother earth with them on the long journey to the great unknown could have been the Fisher Space Pen Astronaut ballpoint pen. It is an exact replica of the original Fisher Space Pen that was used on the Apollo 7 space mission and all subsequent flights since then. Its companion piece is the Jac Zagoory One Giant Step Astronaut Pen Holder. The instrument is made of pure zinc and molded into the shape of an astronaut, a stunning testament to those first brave souls who walked upon the moon. Though the latter is a device better left for home, both, along with Miss Liu, embody various types of firsts. Though they are the first of their kinds, it is written in the stars that they will most certainly not be the lasts.

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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Happy Independence Day from Pen Boutique

Though it is still relatively young, there is absolutely nothing insecure about this bold, bright and beautiful country of ours. It’s very birth, an event carved out with blood and fire, began with its triumph against what was indisputably the strongest country in the world, and ever since then the United States of America has been pressing ever forward into the future. This year will mark its 236th birthday, and Pen Boutique wants to bring along some friends to commemorate what will undoubtedly be the party of the year.
First is the Proudly She Waves Fountain Pen by the internationally acclaimed artist Jac Zagoory. This modern marvel boasts a beautifully engraved silver-colored nib available in fine, medium or broad enclosed by a navy blue cap sporting the white stars of the American flag. The body, however, is by far the piece’s most intriguing aspect. The opening lines of The Star-Spangled Banner are written in large text upon a blue background that alternate between white and red.
With such a beautiful commemoration to our great as the aforementioned piece, it is only natural that it be given a holding place worthy of its distinction. The Proudly She Waves Pen & Card holder is a sister product that lives up to its name. This elegantly subtle pewter piece holds pens and cards of all shapes and sizes. Beside it stands a regal, intricately designed American Flag waving upon flagpole. The flag not only includes all the stars and stripes, but its very own dark pewter tassel. A beautiful beacon of liberty, this piece is a must have.
Most of our country was built upon manufacturing, and despite what many people will tell you there’s just something inexplicably heartwarming about America’s home grown companies. Cross is a testament to this belief, and despite its own youth this pen powerhouse cuts no corners with elegant appeal. The Cross Townsend Ballpoint Pen possesses an 18K gold barrel and cap with 23K gold-plated appointments in a design that manages to be overly stunning without drifting into gaudy. The ultimate expression of pen making art, this piece is a gem unto itself.
Noodler, another American-made company, brings patriotism to life with their Konrad Flex Nib Fountain Pen. To start, each and every material, from the natural ebonite to the biodegradable plastics is cultivated from some of the USA’s oldest states: New York, Maryland and Massachusetts. The entire pen can be completely disassembled and reassembled, making cleaning a breeze. The celluloid body is predominantly available in red and blue, while the ebonite feed can be heat adjusted to fit modern and vintage nibs – whichever the user prefers.
Last, but most certainly not least, is a product that pays homage to a pivotal moment in not only our nation’s history, but in the history of the world. The body of Visconti’s Declaration of Independence 18k Rose Gold Fountain Pen uses a sophisticated scrimshaw technique to replicate the full text of the Declaration of Independence. Though the writing is small, it is large enough to be legible to the naked eye while still being small enough for an inscribing of the images of the Founding Fathers who drafted the epic document. The 23K Palladium two-toned nib is beautifully complemented by aged 18K rose gold trims.
All in all, each of these delightful pieces embodies and exemplifies the world’s greatest democracy: The United States of America.

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Friday, June 8, 2012

Father’s Day and Gift Selection Recommendations .

It’s a little unfair, when you think about it. It’s just a little unfair how during this mid-June holiday there are much fewer sales, fewer phone calls made and a distinct reduction of celebration overall compared to its feminine counterpart. Most would argue that it’s due to an excess of single-mother households, the unique components of maternal bonds and a societal expectation, but Pen Boutique considers both of these tributary holidays equally important for all who celebrate them. So, to honor a holiday celebrated the world over that celebrates fatherhood, paternal bonds and the influence of fathers in society, Pen Boutique is offering a myriad of products this Fathers’ Day.
Now I know I said it for Mothers’ Day, but I’m going to say it again, only slightly differently. While mothers typically like affectionate emotions to either be said aloud or proven through sentimental actions, most fathers aren’t fond of that particular cup of tea. (It’s extremely embarrassing a lot of the time, anyway.) Most fathers show love through actions, and prefer to have it reciprocated the same way. While giving them pricey plasma screen TVs, Dune Buggies and Segway PTs is always a nice gesture, this type of gift-giving always has a hollow element to it. There’s no real thought put in for practicality, sentimentality or what will be memorable for the recipient. It’s not about love; it’s about seeing how deeply you’re willing to go into the red this month. (And then the next month, with the Fourth of July parties, and then the next month when you have to take your kids to the water parks for the summer, and then next month with school supplies...I know; it makes me sick too.) So try giving your Pops something unique this year; something with a little more heart and spirit in it than some newfangled gadget you picked up at Best Buy. These gifts won’t be something he can ride around the Cape of Good Hope on, but they have enough street cred to give him bragging rights about his thoughtful, brilliant, and intuitive child. (And all parents want to do is brag about their children anyway.)
So, the first product up for inspection is the Montblanc Starwalker Metal Red-Gold Resin Fountain Pen. Not only is it a masterfully crafted Montblanc marvel, but special attention has been paid to its design so that it goes above and beyond the call of excellence. Its slender, elongated body is made of a precious midnight black resin whose depth is expertly blended with shined red-gold accents, rings and fittings. The iconic six-pointed Montblanc snowflake emblem floats in a transparent dome on the pen’s cap, opposite a rhodium-plated 14k gold nib. Despite its elegant allure, the Starwalker Red-Gold has a distinctly masculine air most apparent in its fine cuts and executive appeal. Administrative style, however, cannot be more thoroughly embodied than in the StarWalker Metal Red-Gold Plated Fine Liner, a piece that lives up to its intimidating name. Though it has the same general barrel style as the aforementioned piece, this edition is for those who want something a little more stylish in their hands. The body has a precious black lacquer surface that combines the beauty of red gold with the vivid symmetry of diamond-cut lines and fittings. The fresh look is topped off by the same six-pointed emblem in a transparent prism that creates an elegant tribute of modern artistry.
Their inherent good looks aside, pens with the contemporary finesse that make them look like they belong on Wall Street are not for everyone. Perhaps the simpler style is more up your dad’s alley; products that maintain a level of distinction and charisma with a certain subtlety about them. Should this be the case, the Aurora Ottantoto Fountain Pen is the perfect candidate. The body is made of a smooth, sleek Plexiglas that shows off the body’s core materials. This strong statement is complimented by a surprisingly daring basic black nib that takes boldness to a whole new level. The fascinating contrast gives this monochrome piece calm, cool and collected style that is hard to beat. For something that adds a little more functionality to the mix while still retaining its classic appeal, however, the Stipula Passaporto fits the bill. Available in four deeply vibrant colors, this new line is characterized by its small shape and big personality. Combining its lack of clip and short, 90mm length makes it both comfortable and easy to handle. It was made for travelling, easy-access and practicality all wrapped up in a strongly original design.
On the other hand, there’s still the chance that your old man would like something a little more individual while still maintaining a reserved air. The Lamy Safari Apple Green is the pinnacle of simplistic superiority. A member of the legendary Safari line, this collection has achieved worldwide recognition for its unique design and unbelievable affordability. The body is made of a sturdy, shiny ABS plastic that ensures longtime use while the polished, chrome-accented steel nib is 1.5mm and available in either extra fine, fine, medium and broad.
Of course, if your father is just entirely quirky or you know he’d get a good laugh out of it, try out the Tornado Deluxe King. It proudly portrays the iconic image of the King Of Spades that has graced the inside of card decks for centuries. This latest design style (And by latest design, I mean latest retro design, and you can take that any way you want) by Retro51 is enwrapped around a smooth, slick barrel with the perfect weight.
In the end, surprise your dad this Fathers’ Day! Don’t be that guy who tries to impress everyone by getting the most expensive gift they could find, and don’t be that other guy who gets their dad a tie and cufflinks for the seventh year in a row because that was all they could think to get. Be a little more personal, a little more thoughtful, and get your father a gift that’s just a little bit more special than anything he could ever have hoped to get.

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Friday, June 1, 2012

Pen Boutique's Recent Events

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Thursday, May 3, 2012

Celebrate Mothers Day with Pen Boutique

At no initial point are you aware of your mother’s presence. There is no moment in time where you consciously acknowledge her existence – she is there the moment you enter this world, and no matter how long or short your time together is, she remains a permanent, immovable fixture in your life. No matter what transpires between the two of you, you both are connected by an unbreakable familial bond – a bond that does not necessarily have to be for a birth mother. Adopted mothers, stepmothers, grandmothers, and other mother figures in general can all inspire feelings of loyalty, love, appreciation, and devotion just as biological mothers do. The days of these amazing women know no end. Whether they are staying at home taking care of children and keeping the house in order or are filling their days with work along with managing a household, they always manage to make time for those who need them. They are perpetual fountains of love, support, generosity and care that are not congratulated nearly enough for all their hard work. Even though mothers should be praised every single day, the second Sunday in May is set aside for the celebration of their miraculous achievements throughout the year. Gifts are in no way even far near repaying for what they have done for us but that’s just a token of appreciation for them to say that we do care. Before you buy something crazy, try the PenBoutique. We can personally assure you that a thoughtful gift from the heart will mean much more to your mother than any designer bag or gem ever could.
So if not the flashy Open Heart necklace from Kay or a new Louis Vuitton clutch purse, what? What could so perfectly express the overwhelming feelings of love you hold for your mother figure? I have a couple nifty ideas for you, my friends. First and foremost, I am going to suggest a product that in the long run is just as exemplary as they are inexpensive: pens. Now, just hear me out before you give me that look – pens, while they don’t seem entirely exciting, are the greatest gift investment you could ever make in terms of sentimental value. Diamonds are nice, yes; expensive, yes; fun to show off, yes – but that’s only when the recipient of your gift has an opportunity to wear them. You cannot wear diamond earrings or necklaces everywhere, no matter who you are, so that leaves them for what? Dinner parties, ceremonies, weddings, and really not much else, and it seems to me that the only person who benefits much is the company that produces the product. So why don’t we bundle up all the aforementioned beauty and excellence into a device that cannot only be used every day, but is actually useful.
To begin, I am going to start with the Cross Sentiment Pearlescent Fountain Pen. This little masterpiece has a gentle, angelic quality about itself. The body is made of a beautiful ivory coloring that is masterfully hand-coated with a highly glossed lacquer covering. Its pearlescent hues are complimented by 10K gold-plated accents encircling the slender body and cap. The gold-plated clip is adorned with a removable heart-lock charm that adds a distinctly feminine touch to this delicate piece. On the opposite side of the spectrum, the Cross Torero Ballpoint Pen provides a textured tour de force that is perfect for women who want a little more impact and a little less fluff. A rebel in its own right, the rich, high-end leather that encompasses the body of this pen is enriched with striking Bordeaux color. A winning combination of technical prowess and luxury, the Torero has a sophisticated style with a prominent dose of attitude. For women who want something a little more colorful but no less impactful, the Retro Tornado Pop Series displays a flaring blossom burst design upon a vibrant red background. This limited edition rollerball is unique in its utter rarity – only 500 exist. Only 500, and that makes these pieces much more valuable than any one of the millions of diamonds in the world. Low maintenance, convenient, and most importantly, fashionable, the Pop Series is what a perfect mother’s day gift is all about.
For something much more glamorous, Pen Boutique is also offering the Montblanc Grace Kelly Princesse Grace de Monaco Ballpoint Pen. (Unfortunately, it’s only the ballpoint pen.) Despite that, this lovely little gem has all of the femininity, grace and magnificence you could ever hope to incorporate into a Mothers’ Day gift. The body is crafted into a slender, elegant shape that is perfectly suited to fit any hand. The barrel is made of precious, dark purple resin that gives the piece a royal mystique. The twist-action cap is made of the same beautiful material and is expertly accented by a champagne-toned gold trim with a feminine neckline. The end of the clip meets at a drop-cut pink topaz gem, and underneath is an intricate engraving of Princess Grace’s monogram. Inspired by a woman whose beauty and grace made her a style icon for generations, this pen will exemplify and emphasize all of the stunning qualities you see in your mother every day.
Some women, however, do not like all the splash and splendor and prefer things that are a little simpler. Things that still maintain a certain loveliness, mind you, but are less flashy. Items for these milder tastes are being offered as well, most particularly the Cross Century Colors Ballpoint Pens. Chic and stylishly slim, the Century Colors offer the perfect balance of work and play. Their smooth bodies boast a unique pattern of pearlescent white and colored checks. Available in Tender Rose and Violet, these colors are fun and engaging without being loud or garish. Their chrome accents add a final, sophisticated touch to these hidden treasures. If these, however, are still a little too ostentatious, the pink Fisher Space Pen will set those fears to rest. When closed, they are the perfect size to carry in a wallet, pocket, purse, car glove box, or organizer. When opened, the Space Pen is an evenly balanced writing tool that is cleverly crafted out of all brass with a mild pink finish. An outstanding example of industrial art, the Fisher Bullet Pen is a proud exhibit of the New York Museum of Modern Art. (Now there’s something for Mom to brag to all her friends about.) Its timeless style and simple beauty have made the Space Pen the topic of many art books and magazine articles and it continues to be one of the most popular pens ever sold.
Last but certainly not least, Pen Boutique is offering the Filofax Finsbury Family A5 Organizer. Though not a pen, I don’t know any woman who does not need a notepad. Writing down notes, reminders, grocery lists, spur-of-the-moment ideas, phones numbers, financial information, addresses—the list goes on and on, and so does all the paper she’ll need. Say, “No more, Mom!” No longer should she be forced to scribble all of her immediately important information on hundreds of tiny, mismatched strips of paper. Instead, give her a quick and easy organizer that contains a whole host of useful features spread over 330 pages. Everything from a birthday party checklist to a pet’s vaccination appointment is possible with this decorative marvel. The covers are made of soft, high-quality grained leather and contain a full length zip pocket, four vertical credit card pockets, two vertical diskette pockets, a full length back pocket and a pen loop. Fashionable, handy, convenient, and boasting an attractive Raspberry color that looks as stylish as it is chic, the Filofax Finsbury is every mother’s dream come true.
A dream, a wish, an impossible reality – your mother is a priceless treasure that deserves a little more than a slight tip of the hat this Mothers’ Day. She also, believe it or not, deserves something a little more dear to the heart than some cold, empty jewel bracelet or necklace. She needs a gift that you feel proud giving her for the very fact that it is sincere and timeless. The reason parents treasure gifts given to them by their young children is because, having no funds, whatever they give is given with the full extent and consideration of their heart. They give everything because, in a sense, they have nothing to give, and it’s this simple beauty and sincerity that fills a mother’s heart with love. So give your mom one of these special, discounted gifts this year. Give her something that will fill her heart, and memory, with all the care and love you always wanted to show but never quite knew how.

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Sunday, April 1, 2012


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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Rollabind Notebook-Who says binding is boring?

All of us can say that we have used a notebook at one time or another; whether it was a spiral, or a binder. Notebooks are made for the user in an attempt to make organizing information easier. Most of our uses of a notebook were most likely during school, and many of us may still use them today. Now, what if I told you there was a better method of organization? I’m talking about the Rollabind notebook by the Rollabind company.
The idea for this notebook was thought up in 1994 and perfected in 1996 by the Rollabind Company whose base of operations is located in Pompano Beach, Florida. However, this was while Rollabind was still a part of a another successful company. This innovative creation was to change the way professionals and students alike were thinking about getting, and staying organized
Now let’s talk about the actual notebook. The Rollabind notebook is a wonderful little tool that allows you to remove, replace, interchange, and refill pages. “How does it do this?” you may be asking. Well instead of rings, the Rollabind notebooks use a disc system to create a strong and instant bond, similar to a rolodex file. I’ll come back to the discs later. The notebook is easy to fit almost anywhere, and folds over flat. It has the flexibility of a spiral notebook with the convenience of a three ring-binder! Not only that, the Rollabind also helps you save on paper since instead of throwing it out when it’s full, you can just buy more discs and start a new notebook, then interchange the pages between the two! The looks of the notebooks are upscale and attractive, but you can buy plastic covers that come in a wide variety of colors if you don’t like what you see.
The original covers are made of a leathery material to give the notebook a look and feel of sophistication. These can be ordered in red, black, or brown, and in two different sizes: junior and letter. These notebooks are obviously good for taking notes at school, or keeping files around the office, but that is not all the use you can get from this notebook. You can also use them for personal projects, like scrapbooking. This notebook in itself is pretty amazing, but what really bring out the uniqueness of these notebooks are its accessories.
The Rollabind notebook comes with a large number of accessories including the discs that I mentioned earlier. Since I have already referenced them, why don’t I start with those? The discs for the Rollabind notebooks are made of a durable plastic and can hold about 100 sheets of paper. The inner diameter of each disc is about ½ an inch. They are made of a durable plastic that makes it last, even when used on a day to day basis. The discs come in red, black, white, yellow, green, clear, and blue. The discs also come in a metallic finish in the same colors as the plastic, to give your notebook a futuristic feel.
Next I’ll talk about the Rollabind Desktop Punch. The Rollabind has a rather interesting feature that I believe I have failed to mention. You can use your own paper! Yes, that includes paper from other notebooks that you have written important notes on. To utilize this feature, however, you have to buy the Rollabind Desktop Punch. The whole puncher is a little pricey, but the uses of the instrument far exceed the price value given to it. To be able to put any pages on the discs of any Rollabind notebook opens up a plethora of new organizational possibilities. You can take all of your notes from say a biology 101 class, and put them with your new notes from a biology 102 class. This is one of the most useful things you can do with a Rollabind notebook. This organization tool will definitely make your life ten times easier.
The notebooks customization abilities don’t stop there. The plastic covers, which I remembered to mention earlier, add a new meaning to the words “fully customizable.” The plastic covers come in black, green, frosted clear, royal blue, red, translucent green and translucent orange. There are so many colors to choose from, making your notebook completely customizable. You can mix and match the colors of your covers, and discs to make a beautiful notebook that is 100% composed from your personal preferences. Not only are the covers beautiful, but they also are made of a high quality, .30 gauge low density polyethylene plastic.
I know what you’re thinking, “ethylene? That’s gas right?” Well you are absolutely right. Low density polyethylene is a thermo plastic that is made of petroleum, but don’t worry its completely safe, and doesn’t give off a smell like petroleum does. All the petroleum in the covers do is make them more durable to protect each and every precious page you have in your notebook. They are beautiful and useful, and there are even more accessories to go with this innovative creation.
Time for me to read your minds again, I think our thinking, “well that’s all fine and dandy, but why should I choose this notebook over any other notebook?” Well I have a couple of reasons for why I switched to the Rollabind, maybe they’ll be enough for you too. I can be a bit clumsy sometimes, so three ring binders and I didn’t really get along. I would clip the skin of my fingers between the metal rings all the time, and it hurt! With the Rollabind notebook, I no longer have to worry about my notebook trying to eat my fingers.
If you carry lots of things then this is best solution for you. A typical bag (even if its an school goer or office guy) contains  laptop,iphone,ipad? and other essentials. Well, often times all the other items in the backpack would stomp on the binder until the rings were off track. This makes it difficult to use the item for organizing because the papers would often slide out of the rings and it  would be hard to locate them when you really needed them. With the Rollabind notebook’s disc system, you no longer have to deal with this problem because the discs are a lot more durable and reliable than the rings of a three ring binder.
My last point also relates to the point of customization. This is a very important thing to stress because it’s a very special feature. Let me explain it with a question about something completely different. Why was skyrim nominated, and then voted game of the year? My theory is because of the amount of freedom you have in the game. People love to be able to control how something is going to work. To me, this is true with a notebook as well. I love to decorate my notebook with pictures and things, and I have seen countless others who like to do the same. A fully customizable item makes for a very successful and completely fulfilling notebook; making Rollabind the perfect design for anyone no matter what their style may be.

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