Thursday, October 13, 2011
Thursday-1pm: The Pen and I
Yesterday the roofers were hard at it again.
By the time they left very late in the day they had striped half of the big garage below my window...
...and had re-shingled the garages in the back there. Somebody was either moving in or out--see the U-Haul?
I was going to actually go over and visit Dagan and Leah (who were home cleaning last night and invited me over to hang out) but since I haven't used the car again for over 2 months...dead as a doornail. So--it wasn't a fluke last time--LOL! This old car (1992 Paseo) will just lose the juice if I don't at least take it out to drive it around for a few minutes every week or two. *sigh*
I tell you--honestly--if I don't write things down I forget them anymore. I will have to make a point of marking it on my calendar--"drive the car!" Even if I just drive it around a little bit and drive right home and never even get out of the car. (Seems like such a waste of gas, but I guess it is worth it, eh?) Dagan and Leah told me to do that last time but, apparently, there was a part of me that just didn't believe it...thought it had to be a fluke. Guess not. I believe it now. So, I have to wait until they can stop by and jump her again. May be a while. They're super busy this month. Oh, and if I am feeling awful for weeks like I was, I can call and ask if one of them can come zoom the little red car around for a little bit for me. I'm so sorry guys!
About 9:30pm a fire truck and police car raced up in all their noisy glory. There was no fire alarm going off, though. I have no idea what that was all about, but you have to wonder. You'd think if it was somebody injured or collapsed it would have been an ambulance and not a fire truck? They weren't here for too long and then off they went. Just a little something to jump start your heart--LOL!
Dee asked me to talk about how I got interested in pens, inks, and paper. Well, I can remember as a child be totally fascinated watching my dad carefully fill his fountain pen. It was one like this...with a lever and a bladder.
Nobody could touch his special pen and there was this whole procedure to fill it from the ink bottle--awesome! Was really disappointed if he didn't let me know so I could watch. I think that was my introduction to the fountain pen. I remember thinking that I just had to have one of those when I grew up!
I remember we got to use some Speedball dip pens with India ink in junior high art class! Well, I begged my folks till they bought me a kit. All the red peeled off the original Speedball holder, but it looked similar to this one.
In my nib box...yes, I do have a lot of nibs...
...I still have those original nibs. I don't know if this was the whole set or not because I can't remember all these years later. I didn't used to take very good care of them when I was a kid. See the old dried India ink in the crevices? (Embarrassed to show you--should probably soak them and clean them decently, even if I haven't used them in probably 35 years--LOL!)
I always loved writing supplies. From the time I needed pencils in school, I had to have certain pencils that had a harder lead. And when we were allowed to have ballpoint pens..whoohoo! I tried several, but the more expensive and refillable Parker T-ball Jotter was the winner. I wouldn't use anything else for years! My original one that I had used throughout high school...well, I lost it when I was waitressing a few years after I graduated. I was heartbroken. But did that mean I'd use some cheap disposable pen that blobbed--no way! I bought two Jotters and kept one at home (the red one that is in the best shape). Obviously never lost either one of them--LOL!
I still think the original pen was stolen. (There was a waitress who had her eye on it--LOL!) I even carried disposable pens in my apron so that if somebody asked to borrow a pen I would never have to lend them my Jotter. Oh yes. I have always been a pen fanatic--ROFL!!
I've had a fascination with all kinds of pens. My very, very, very favorite dip pen is this beautiful feathered pen with a brass nib holder I happened upon in a little shop in Minneapolis around 15 years ago. I adore it! Love how it feels in my hand. Totally awesome! Whenever I am going to sit down with a dip pen to really take my time and contemplate with a letter...this is what is usually in my hand. Not that I don't have other holders that I use and enjoy, but if I could only keep one...this would be it.
All my life I have actually felt that I have been a scribe in past lives. More than once. There is something ancient I feel inside of me when I have anything in my hand to write with...from back in my crayon days. And--no surprise--I preferred my crayons and pencils unbroken, sharpened, and organized--LOL! (Probably why I wasn't very good with pastels--you are supposed to break them! ROFL!)
I do have things I have never been able to let go of even though they may be impractical or useless. My set of cobalt blue glass pens that I bought maybe 25 or 30 years ago. Neither of them have ever worked, but they are just so pretty. (My new one from GouletPens does work, by the way!)
I have a real hand carved quill. It is so old and dry that it has many splits. So even if you soak it, it doesn't write well. But it is just cool!
I bought this replica of an old "snail" inkstand that also holds a couple of dip pens on the left there. You put ink in the bottom of the bottles...
...and then tip them up like this when you want to use them.
Trouble is, you can't put very much ink in them (only in the very bottom of the snail belly or they will drip) and they don't have a tight seal to the rubber stoppers so they dry up pretty quickly. And they are a pain to clean out. But--this is just the coolest ink holder! I'll never get rid of it.
So, anyways...my love of writing and pens led me quite naturally to inks. And if you love to write, you can't help but become very aware of paper quality...especially with the dip and fountain pens!
I collected this and that here and there over the years. When I would accidentally find paper that was better and didn't feather or bleed through...ahhh! I just buy that until I couldn't find it for sale anymore. But the quality of most paper I would find at Office Max or Target or such...well, it kept me from wanting to use my dip and fountain pens as much. I usually had to use only one side of the paper because of issues and would get so frustrated by feathering on new paper or some pretty journal I bought. So, I stuck with ballpoints for years and then switched over to gel pens. Oh, and before the gel pens--do you remember Flairs!? :)
As much as I had learned to use the internet it hadn't occurred to me to look for any pens other than my safe gels. I discovered JetPens a few years ago. I'd see and drool over their fountain pens, but I had wasted my money on a beautiful Waterman FP about ten years ago that never worked well and leaks around the nib into the cap--argg! So I had reluctantly avoided buying fountain pens. I used my bottled inks with my dip pens.
Then I finally broke down a couple years ago and ordered a Cavalier FP from JetPens (half the price of my "on sale" Waterman) and I was in love!! That is what started my searching online for bottled inks and what led me to GouletPens and then WritersBloc. I found Goulet's "Ink Drop" and discovered the cheapie Preppy fountain pens...whoohoo! Seventh heaven!! And then the search naturally widened to find actual fountain pen friendly paper. I have been making my bookcards for about three years and if I was going to use a fountain pen for writing letters in those I needed to be able to write on both sides of the paper.
So, because of my born love of all things writing (started journaling at nine in pencil) that is why you see me so dang excited over all of my pens, inks, papers, and journals. Ahhhh! It is absolutely glorious! Well worth waiting 60 years to play and search and discover! I do so love the internet! You can learn about and find most anything!! :):)
Slept really well and long again last night! Sunny day--blue skies and white clouds. The roofers are hammering away. Karma is sleeping right through it. (By today she knows they're not going to be over her head and that is what freaked her out before.)
Life is good!!
May you have something that gives you much joy in your days!
May you have many things, for that matter! :):)
"Man is fond of counting his troubles, but he does not count his joys. If he counted them up as he ought to, he would see that every lot has enough happiness provided for it."