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
 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.
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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”?

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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?

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Writer Quotes

“She had an unequalled gift, especially pen in hand, of squeezing big mistakes into small opportunities.” -"Greville Fane," from The Real Thing: and Other Tales (1893)

“No man was more foolish when he had not a pen in his hand, or more wise when he had.” - Samuel Johnson

“I am a galley slave to pen and ink.” - Honore de Balzac

“Men have every advantage of us in telling their story. Education has been theirs in so much higher a degree; the pen has been in their hands.” - Jane Austen

“First, think in as homely a way as you can; next, shove your pen under the thought, and lift it by polysyllables to the true level of fiction.” - Charles Reade

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Featured Story: History of Pen Stands/Holders

Portable pens that could carry its’ own ink supply were not perfected until fairly late in the 19th century. None of the great writers before that time, from Aristophanes to Shakespeare to Dickens, were in a position to enjoy such an instrument. Even Thomas Jefferson, who later in life sampled an early reservoir pen, had to fall back on the quill to draft the U.S. Declaration of Independence. For the first three millennia or so since the invention of paper, the writing instrument of choice in Western culture was the quill. One simply used a goose tail feather, the process being harvest the feather, allowing it to dry (often by immersing it in a bed of hot dry sand), "gutting" it and trimming off the excess fuzz. The tradition of needing a pen stand for your writing instrument was out of necessity to avoid ink from getting all over your desk. This historical tradition is celebrated today with functional and well crafted Jac Zagoory pen holders.
Jac Zagoory Design is nothing if not the epitome of creativity and innovation. Their collections include an almost unimaginable variety of pieces that are just as charming as they are unusual. Just as their mission statement proclaims, Jac Zagoory Design aims to create, innovate and acquire pieces that will help others reach for inspiration in their own lives. To help put a smile on the faces of those that value their rewards like they value their work. 

Although a relatively young company, Jac Zagoory Design has gained a solid footing in the world of art, pens and luxury merchandise. Their products have been featured in Wired Magazine, Stylus, Gift and Decorations, Greetings, Pen World, the New York Times and in many foreign publications.

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Monday, April 20, 2015

Share your favorite Mother's day moment

                         Share your favorite Mother's day moment - Mother's Day Contest Details

Share your moment and Win the Pen Boutique Contest !

We are giving our Facebook fans a chance to win "Waterman Elegance Ivory GT Fountain Pen" Worth $555.00

a. Like our Page to become a fan!
b. Submit your  favorite moment with your Mother that you remember below in our timeline to Participate
c. Bring maximum votes on your wish with "Likes"
d.Share the Current Post and Get 2 extra votes.
e. Win the contest

Ends: 9th May 2015

We are hosting this "Share Your Moment" for our Pen Boutique fans. The winner of this contest will be announced on our Timeline and Pen Boutique blog ( on Mother's Day (10th May 2015).

The Prize

Total GiveAway
1 winner

Free shipping to Winners within USA.International participant shipping will be additional and you can also add it free to your any pending orders.


All the citizens from USA with valid Facebook ID are encouraged to participate.International customers are welcome to participate but shipping will be additional and you can also add it free to your any pending orders.

Winner Selection

There will be random selection of 1 winners from the total participation.We choose random person as a draw ( we write it down the name of the persons and do a draw on Mothers day.)

 More Legal Stuff

1.) This giveaway/contest is void where prohibited by law. The contestants assume the total responsibility of knowing their local laws in regard to "Share Your Moment" Contest ! and are subject to any local, state, national or international laws. Friendship Circle accepts no responsibility for making these individual legal determinations.

2.) Winner are solely responsible for any taxes on their respective prizes.

3.) No substitution of prize is offered.

4.) Prizes are non-transferable.

5.) Prizes should be claimed within 30 days of the announcement of winner. Any claims made after 30 days will be considered void. Pen Boutique, Limited, USA, is not responsible for any such claims after that time.

6.) If a prize, or any portion thereof, cannot be awarded for any reason, Pen Boutique, Limited, USA, reserves the right to substitute a prize with another prize of equal or greater value. That determination will be made by Pen Boutique, Limited, USA.

7.) Winners must verify their email and shipping address when contacted via email address on file.

8.) Winners name may be used on future Pen Boutique, Limited, USA, marketing media, including, but not limited to Facebook, website & blog
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Monday, April 13, 2015

Ink Blotters

Back in the days when everyone used quill pens and fountain pens the one thing that could be found on every office or writing desk was an ink blotter. Ink blotters were usually made of a soft absorbent paper formed into a card and were used to dry up excess ink. Today, these vintage blotters, made in the 1930s and 1940s, are very highly prized and sought after collectibles. Ink Blotters were a very popular form of advertising that were often given away by fountain pen manufacturers, banks, merchants and especially Insurance Companies. Antique Ink blotters were as common as business cards are today.  Written references to ink blotting paper in America have been found beginning in the late 1700s. In the late 1800s, a patent was issued for improved blotting paper which featured a smooth surface on one side and a blotting surface on the other.  Rocker blotters were an important piece of desk equipment from the late 1880s until the 1950s. This type of blotter had a handle 2 to 5 inches long and a rounded surface 2 to 3 inches wide where the blotting paper was attached. Blotting paper is used to absorb ink or oil from writing materials.

Pen Boutique offer two very absorbent brands of blotting paper.

When was blotter paper first found in the United States?

Blotting paper was first manufactured in the United States by Joseph Parker & Son in 1856. (no relation to Parker Pens)

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Pen Trivia: Rollerball Pens

Of course, choosing your pen is a personal preference, a subjective experience. Although rollerballs are the newest entry into the world of fine writing, with fountain pens and ballpoints paving the way, they gain more in popularity each year.

Rollerball pens were introduced in 1963 by Ohto Japan who were at the time known as Auto Japan. There are two main types of roller ball pens: liquid ink pens and gel ink pens. The first type uses an ink and ink supply system similar to a fountain pen and they are designed to combine the convenience of a ballpoint pen with the smooth "wet ink" effect of a fountain pen.

Less pressure needs to be applied to the pen to have it write cleanly. This permits holding the pen with less stress on the hand, saving energy and improving comfort. This can also translate to quicker writing speeds. This is especially true of liquid ink pens.

The inks usually have a greater range of colors due to the wider choice of suitable water-soluble dyes and/or to the use of pigments.

They tend to write more clearly than ballpoint pens do.

Question: What fine writing pen brands has the best selling rollerballs?

Answer: Lamy’s Al-Star, Safari and their 2000 lines are the top selling rollerballs.

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Penmanship Corner

Writing is a codified system of standard symbols: the repetition of agreed-upon simple shapes to represent ideas. Recognizable systems of writing developed in 3 major cultures within 1200 years of each other. Sumerian cuneiform developed around 3000 BC, Egyptian hieroglyphs around 2800 BC, and the precursor to Kanji Chinese around 1800 BC. The development of writing allowed cultures to record events, history, laws; theories in math, science, medicine; create literature and more.

By the mid-1700’s, there were special schools established to teach handwriting techniques, or penmanship. Master penmen were employed to copy official documents such as land deeds, birth and marriage certificates, military commissions, and other legal documents. Timothy Matlack was commissioned to write the final copy of the Declaration of Independence, and Jacob Shallus penned the final copy of the Constitution of the United States of America.

What better way to make friends than being prepared to spontaneously recite poetry?

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April is National Poetry Month

“If I read a book and it makes my whole body so cold no fire can ever warm me, I know that is poetry.” – Emily Dickinson

“The smell of ink is intoxicating to me — others may have wine, but I have poetry.” -Terri Guillemets

“He lives the poetry that he cannot write. The others write the poetry that they dare not realize.” - Oscar Wilde

“Poetry is the one place where people can speak their original human mind. It is the outlet for people to say in public what is known in private.” – Allen Ginsberg
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History of Pen Pals

A Pen Pal relationship is often used to improve literacy, to learn more about other countries and life-styles, and to make friendships. As with any friendships in life, some people remain Pen Pals for only a short time, while others continue to exchange letters and presents for life. Some Pen Pen Pals eventually arrange to meet face to face; sometimes leading to serious relationships, or even marriage.
Pals come in all ages, nationalities and cultures. Pals may seek new pen friends based on their own age group, a specific occupation, hobby, or select someone totally different from them to gain knowledge about the world around them.

Some Famous Pen Pals

Karl Marx and Abraham Lincoln exchanged letters at the end of the Civil War, with Marx writing on behalf of the International Working Men’s Association. Although they were divided by far more than the Atlantic Ocean, they agreed on the urgency of suppressing slavery and the cause of “free labor.”

One day in 1961 Groucho Marx received in the mail a note from none other than T.S. Eliot himself. Expressing his admiration for the comedian, Eliot asked him for an autographed portrait. A shocked Groucho sent back a studio photograph of himself, only to receive a second note from the icon of modern poetry requesting instead a picture of the iconic Groucho, sporting a moustache and holding a cigar. A second photograph was sent out and a happy Eliot wrote to thank Groucho: “This is to let you know that your portrait has arrived and has given me great joy and will soon appear in its frame on my wall with other famous friends.

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How the Treaty of Versailles, which ended World War II, inspired a new pen company.

Aurora is an Italian manufacturer of fine writing instruments, fountain pens, paper and leather goods. Their products represent the first true Italian fountain pens and are still manufactured in their original factory in Turin, northern Italy.

It was 1919, the year the treaty of Versailles was signed. In an Italy marked by a post-war crisis, but bubbling with great hopes for recovery, the first steps down a long road were taken with the birth of Aurora, and the creation of the first true Italian fountain pen. A rich textile merchant, founder of the Torino Company of the same name, saw the crystallization of a dream he had long meditated and planned. In that year, the success enjoyed by the Aurora pen coincided with a new historic direction. Italy woke up to the first rays of a sun that was destined not to set, while Aurora became the name of a company destined for success.

From those very first years the company showed that it was able to produce writing instruments with inimitable allure and refinement. A unique style which, following the evolution of taste, yesterday as today, brought together experience, technique, precious materials and artisan skill and refinement. Having earned the appreciation of admirers round the world, the trademark represented forms and materials which, from the beginning, were tangible examples of the most refined made in Italy products. The brand is synonymous with high quality, exquisite taste, and fine Italian craftsmanship. Each Aurora Pen is influenced by the renowned culture, artistic legacy, and design characteristic of the Italian tradition. One of the only manufacturers to craft their own nibs, Aurora fountain pens feature fixed points - a reference for future generations of writing masters.

Pen Boutique is currently offering 20% off recently reduced prices on Aurora Ipsilon Resin pens. This is the lowest price available from an authorized dealer!

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International Day of Human Space Flight

On 12 April, 1961 Yuri Gagarin shot off to space to become the first human to fly to space opening numerous pathways and possibilities for space exploration.

To remember the first human spaceflight, the United Nations General Assembly declared the same day 12 April as the International Day of Human Space Fight. The day recognizes cosmic science and technology as crucial contributors to achieve the objectives of sustainable development and improve the welfare of the people. The day also promotes further space exploration but for peaceful purposes, wherein every country and the people benefit from the discoveries made. And yes, we have learned so much about space since the first man shot off to space. Neil Armstrong has stepped on moon and Curiosity has been sending us pictures from Mars, an Earth look-alike planet has been spotted, and so much more has been possible because of one man taking the flight to space.

While it is all good and positive, on this special day let’s also take a minute to recognize a space tool without which space exploring could not have been as easy as it has been. Of course, there are technologies worth millions of dollars on board that have eased the entire process, but a small technology of utter importance has to be the space pens and among them, the Fisher Space pen holds the prestigious position of being the pioneer in space writing tools. Ever since the Apollo 7 mission in 1968, the Fisher Pen has been the standard writing instruments for astronauts in their space missions.

As the story goes, NASA was looking for pens that wouldn’t burn in a 100 percent-oxygen environment. When big pen companies couldn’t find a solution, news came to them that a guy named Paul Fisher could be the answer to their prayer. According to Paul Fisher’s son Cary Fisher, Paul’s reply to the call from NASA was, “Where the heck you guys been? I’ve been trying to get a hold of you for a year!” He had already been working on developing a pen suitable for space, which could write whenever, wherever, however. It took Paul a few years, a whole lot of experiments, tests and failures, to find the ultimate winner – a pressurized pen that didn’t leak and didn’t rely on gravity to push the ink to the ball. While NASA has already moved on to different writing tools for space exploration today, it is worthwhile to acknowledge the importance of Fisher Space Pens. Like without Gagarin going to space, space exploration might not have been as advanced as today, without Fisher Space Pens, astronauts might as well have been stuck with facing dangers of a pencil lead breakage.

Just as April 12 is a reminder of possibilities and knowledge, Fisher Space Pens is a reminder of being different than the usual and winning at doing that. So be different. Different is good.

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Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Ink Trivia

Red ink

Certain images instantly conjure up this bold color: fire engines, flames, roses, rouges, rubies, rust, tomatoes, blood and valentines. Red pens have traditionally been used by teachers when grading papers – ostensibly to make their comments and markings stand out from the original work.
Red is hot. It's a strong color that conjures up a range of seemingly conflicting emotions from passionate love to violence and warfare. Red is Cupid and the Devil.

Red ink was used extensively in medieval manuscripts. It was the color of headings, titles and initials. It was also used for important days in the calendar. In the medieval Books of Hours, the days of the month written in red denoted Saints' Days - hence our saying 'red letter day.'

Put some red in your life when you want to show:
·         increased enthusiasm and interest
·         more energy
·         action and confidence to go after your dreams

There is no bolder color than red and Pen Boutique has the many hot shades your pen desires.  Check out some of our scarlet wonders:

What is the complementary color of red on the color wheel?

Answer: Red’s direct opposite is green.
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Pen Trivia - Contracts and Signing on the Dotted Line

Contracts have always required a signature to become legally binding. Typically, contracts are oral or written, but written contracts have typically been preferred in common law systems. Hand written permanent ink signatures are the usual mode of agreement. In this fast paced world of new technology an electronic signature is now also accepted.

If a contract is in a written form, and somebody signs it, then the signer is typically bound by its terms regardless of whether they have actually read it provided the document is contractual in nature.

To sign on the dotted line: Agree formally or fully, as in The deal is just about fixed; all they have to do is sign on the dotted line. This idiom refers to the broken line traditionally appearing at the bottom of a legal document, indicating the place for one's signature. [Early 1900s]

Using a fine writing instrument makes a statement of committed permanence when signing contracts that mark the important stages of our life such as buying a new home, purchasing your first car, filling out paperwork for a new job and filing for a marriage license.
Question: When and where was the first legislation created to acknowledge and require signed contracts?

Answer:  In 1677 England passed the Statute of Frauds which influenced similar stature of frauds laws in the United States and other countries such as Australia, which honoring signed and binding contracts.
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Penmanship Writing Corner - Write Often

Penmanship Writing Corner
Write Often

If you really want to improve your penmanship you need to practice, An occasional note, birthday card , and a grocery list is a chance to practice, as is the ‘honey do’ list. But if you are serious about being able to showcase your exemplary penmanship skills keep a journal, pen a short story or copy cursive writing from a template, anything that will give you more experience forming letters and words.

I must admit my cursive is excellent; it must have been all those black and white composition books where I had to practice over and over again each letter of the alphabet. Like anything worthwhile, it takes time. But don’t despair, it will most likely take less than the twelve years I practiced in school!

It is a personal preference as to what writing tool you use. Rollerball pens are so smooth that they writer smoothly with the least amount of pressure. On the other hand, more pressure is required to write with ballpoint pens. If you write small, and want to explore writing with a fountain pen, you’ll probably want to go with a fine-tipped pen so your writing becomes more legible. If you write in a very simple, minimalistic way without much embellishment, you might want to try writing with a stub-nibbed fountain pen or a chisel-tipped pen just to see how that might change your writing. Whatever you decide “Write-on!”
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History of the Hand Written Letter

According to the testimony of ancient historians, the first recorded hand written letter (epistle) was by Persian Queen Atossa, around 500 BC. The leaves of plants and the bark of trees advanced the use of writing. The linden tree was particularly good allowing the folding of its bark. Egyptian papyrus made possible the ancient libraries of Alexandria.

Jumping ahead to more modern times, prior to 1840 letters were delivered by courier, coach or horse rider. The receiver of the letter had to pay on its receipt and the cost was dependant on the number of pages and distance travelled. To prevent the contents of the letter from being read by others they were sealed using a colored wax with ring or handheld seal.

In May 1840 Great Britain introduced the first prepaid stamp nationwide postal delivery service, with the Penny Black stamp (portrait of the young Queen Victoria) for letters under half an ounce and the Two Penny Blue stamp for letters over. This was soon followed by other countries introducing similar systems.

The United States postal system played a crucial role in the national expansion. It facilitated an inexpensive, fast, convenient communication system. The postal service helped integrate established areas with the frontier, creating a spirit of nationalism and providing a necessary infrastructure. You could now easily communicate your family updates to your cousin Elizabeth in Virginia, all the way from your home in Massachusetts.

Personal communication now is sadly being replaced by short bursts of text messages beeping on our phones and e-mails clogging up our in-boxes. Let’s all put forth our best effort to make sure letter writing does not become a lost art! 
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The Graf Von Faber-Castell Walden Woods Limited Edition Fountain and Rollerball Pen

Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862) was an American philosopher, poet, and environmental scientist whose major work, Walden, draws upon each of these identities in meditating on the concrete problems of living in the world as a human being. He sought to revive a conception of philosophy as a way of life. He discussed his own scientific findings with leading naturalists of the day.

The Walden Woods Project preserves the land, literature and legacy of Henry David Thoreau to foster an ethic of environmental stewardship and social responsibility. The Project achieves this mission through the integration of conservation, education and research.

Faber Castell Walden Wood Limited Edition Rollerball Pen: Made from historic, naturally fallen ash wood from the infamous Walden Woods, Faber-Castell is pleased to present the Limited Edition Walden Woods Rollerball Pen - A harmonious combination of selected materials, aesthetic looks, and high degree of functionalism. Platinized metal parts provide the finishing touches to this Limited Edition. Each pen is individually numbered. The pen features a quotation of Henry David Thoreau in his original handwriting on the barrel.

The Graf Von Faber-Castell Walden Woods Limited Edition Fountain and Rollerball Pen

Faber-Castell supports the efforts of the Walden Woods Project and American Forests Historic Trees. With purchase, a new tree will be planted and a voucher received for a one year subscription to American Forests Magazine.

In appreciation of Thoreau’s contributions to the environment and in honor of Earth Day, celebrated April 22, Pen Boutique is offering a 20% discount on these special limited editions.

 “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary…”

— Henry David Thoreau, Walden, "Where I Lived, and What I Lived For"
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