Congratulations 2015 Graduates!

All the years of hard work have finally paid off: a new round of students are about to experience the victory of graduation! If you’d like to share in the celebration by presenting your favorite graduate with a gift, we would heartily recommend the timeless writing instrument the fountain pen. Many modern students have never used a fountain pen but once they experience it, it becomes a writing tool that they treasure for a lifetime. As your graduate begins their career a fountain pen can add a touch of style and sophistication to their professional or creative image.

LAMY Safari Fountain Pen, Charcoal with a Black Nib
LAMY Safari Fountain Pen, Charcoal with a Black Nib

Popular & Fun-Loving: The LAMY Safari fountain pen is a best friend of writers the world over. It’s easy to use, has a good variety of nib options and is made of rugged ABS plastic so it’s light weight yet durable.

LAMY T10 Fountain Pen Refills 5 Pack - Turquoise
LAMY T10 Fountain Pen Refills – Turquoise

Accessorize with: LAMY T10 Fountain Pen Refills and an Aston Leather Single Pen Slip Case.

Pilot Metropolitan Violet Leopard Fountain Pen
Pilot Metropolitan Violet Leopard Fountain Pen

Budget: The Pilot Metropolitan fountain pen comes with everything you need to get started at a low price, with a quality comparable to that of a more expensive pen.

Aston Leather Single Pen Slip Case - Black
Aston Leather Single Pen Slip Case – Black

Accessorize with: Pilot Namiki Fountain Pen Ink Cartridges and an Aston Leather Single Pen Slip Case.

Pilot Custom 74 Fountain Pen, Blue
Pilot Custom 74 Fountain Pen, Blue

Writing Enthusiast: If know your Grad will be writing profusely on a daily basis, a Pilot Custom 74 fountain pen is definitely worth the investment. Its 14k rhodium nib will keep their hand gliding effortlessly across each page.

Aston Leather Triple Pen Case - Tan
Aston Leather Triple Pen Case – Tan

Accessorize with: A bottle of Noodler’s Ink and an Aston Leather Triple Pen Case (after all, if they write frequently they’ll definitely carry more than one pen!).

LAMY 2000 Fountain Pen
LAMY 2000 Fountain Pen

Modern: The Bauhaus design of the LAMY 2000 fountain pen has a modern and stylish simplicity. It is made of a fiberglass resin called Makrolon that is resistant to impact and weathering.

LAMY Blue-Black Fountain Pen Ink
LAMY Blue-Black Fountain Pen Ink

Accessorize with: A bottle of LAMY fountain pen ink and an Aston Leather Single Pen Hard Case.

Kaweco CLASSIC Sport Fountain Pen - Bordeaux, Medium Nib
Kaweco CLASSIC Sport Fountain Pen – Bordeaux, Medium Nib

Pocket-Size: A compact Kaweco Sport ICE or Classic fountain pen fits in your pocket or purse when capped, and posts at the perfect length for writing.

J. Herbin Universal Fountain Pen Ink Cartridges - Vert Olive
J. Herbin Universal Fountain Pen Ink Cartridges – Vert Olive

Accessorize with: J. Herbin standard international ink cartridges, a Kaweco Pen Clip and a Kaweco Pen Case.

What kind of fountain pen would you like to give to your graduate?

 

 

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Appreciate Our Teachers!

Our school teachers face many challenges and work very hard to educate our young people, so they certainly deserve much appreciation and thanks. Why not show your appreciation with a gift of quality pens and paper? One of my elementary school teacher friends shared what her picks would be:

1) Highlighters. Highlighters are part of a teacher’s daily arsenal. The skinny ones with a fine tip on the other end are my friend’s favorite, such as Zebra Optex Highlighters or Tombow Twin Tip Highlighters.

Zebra Optex Highlighters
Zebra Optex Highlighters

2) Colorful Pens. Smooth writing colorful pens are good for grading papers. We like the STAEDTLER Triplus Roller pens – they have an ergonomic triangular barrel and the dry-safe feature enables these pens to be left uncapped for days at a time without drying up.

STAEDTLER Triplus Roller Pens
STAEDTLER Triplus Roller Pens

3) Pencil Pouch. A leather pen & pencil pouch is just what a teacher needs to corral a bunch of these colorful pens and highlighters. The Clairefontaine Basics Trapezoid Leather Pencil Case is just what your child’s geometry teacher needs, or the Aston Leather Pencil Pouch is another classy choice.

Aston Leather Pen & Pencil Pouches
Aston Leather Pen & Pencil Pouches

4) Fountain Pen. This old fashioned writing tool is making a comeback! It reduces writing fatigue because compared to a ballpoint pen less pressure is required when writing. This might just be the special gift that your teacher takes home to treasure for themselves! The Pilot Metropolitan Fountain Pen is a great deal for the price, or the LAMY Safari is noteworthy for its worldwide popularity. Remember to get some extra ink refills to go along with it!

Pilot Metropolitan Fountain Pen - Dots, Medium Nib
Pilot Metropolitan Fountain Pen – Dots, Medium Nib

5) Book Darts. Book Darts are metal line-markers that easily slip onto a page to mark important points so that you can find them later on. They can be reused over and over again in teacher books.

Book Darts
Book Darts

6) Organizing Notebook. A teacher needs a good notebook for taking notes during teacher training and meetings. We recommend the Clairefontaine Multiple Subject Notebook or the Rhodia Meeting Book with its Cornell note-taking page format.

Rhodia Classic Meeting Book - Large, Orange Cover
Rhodia Classic Meeting Book

7) Academic Planner. Help your teacher stay organized and on top of all of their meetings, activities and classroom events with a planner designed with teachers and students in mind. The Quo Vadis Minister Academic Weekly Planner provides your teacher with a detailed 8am to 9pm weekly schedule. The Minister and other academic planners are due to arrive in our shop towards the end of May or in June.

Quo Vadis Minister Planner - Black Soho Cover
Quo Vadis Minister Planner – Black Soho Cover

How do you like to show your appreciation for your favorite teacher?

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Pantone Color of the Year for 2015 – Marsala

Pantone Color of the Year for 2015 - Marsala
Pantone Color of the Year for 2015 – Marsala

Pantone has announced the color of the year for 2015 to be Marsala. Here’s what Pantone has to say about this year’s earthy wine colored choice:

Much like the fortified wine that gives Marsala its name, this tasteful hue embodies the satisfying richness of a fulfilling meal while its grounding red-brown roots emanate a sophisticated, natural earthiness. This hearty, yet stylish tone is universally appealing and translates easily to fashion, beauty, industrial design, home furnishings and interiors.

If you’re in the mood to capture this color trend with your fountain pen and ink, here are our top choices:

LAMY AL-Star Fountain Pen Purple
LAMY AL-Star Fountain Pen Purple

LAMY Al-Star Fountain Pen in Purple

The light-weight aluminum Al-Star fountain pen comes in this fantastic purple color!

Pilot Metal Falcon Fountain Pen in Burgundy
Pilot Metal Falcon Fountain Pen in Burgundy

Pilot Metal Falcon Fountain Pen – Burgundy

Fancy up your handwriting by using this burgundy metal Falcon fountain pen with a semiflex nib. The Platinum 3776 Century Fountain Pen in Bourgogne and the Kaweco Classic Sport Fountain Pen in Bordeaux also come in shades of Marsala.

Noodler's Ink - Burgundy
Noodler’s Ink – Burgundy

Noodler’s Ink in Burgundy

This classic burgundy color of ink would look great in any fountain pen! If you’re going to use it in your purple LAMY Al-Star, remember to get the LAMY Z24 Ink Converter so you can use bottled ink.

Noodler's Ink - Black Swan in English Roses
Noodler’s Ink – Black Swan in English Roses

Noodler’s Ink Black Swan in English Roses

Black Swan in English Roses is specifically made by Noodler’s Ink for flex nib fountain pens, so it would be a great choice for your Falcon semiflex nib fountain pen.

Monteverde Burgundy Ink Cartridges for LAMY Fountain Pens
Monteverde Burgundy Ink Cartridges for LAMY Fountain Pens

Monteverde Ink Cartridges for LAMY Fountain Pens – 5 Pack, Burgundy

If you’d rather use ink cartridges instead of bottled ink, Monteverde makes a burgundy ink cartridge for LAMY fountain pens including the Al-Star. We’ve discovered that these ink cartridges also fit pens that use standard international ink cartridges if you use the other end of the cartridge.

J. Herbin Supple Sealing Wax - Burgundy
J. Herbin Supple Sealing Wax – Burgundy

J. Herbin Supple Sealing Wax – Burgundy

Okay, so this isn’t a pen or ink, but won’t your letters look great when they are sealed with matching burgundy J. Herbin Sealing Wax?

J. Herbin Ambre de Birmanie Fountain Pen Ink
J. Herbin Ambre de Birmanie Fountain Pen Ink

J. Herbin Fountain Pen Ink – Ambre de Birmanie

If you’d rather have an ink that contrasts nicely with a Marsala colored fountain pen, Pantone suggests an amber color such as J. Herbin’s Ambre de Birmanie ink.

J. Herbin Fountain Pen Ink - Vert Reseda
J. Herbin Fountain Pen Ink – Vert Reseda

J. Herbin Fountain Pen Ink – Vert Reseda

Also suggested by Pantone as colors to complement Marsala are “greens in both turquoise and teal, and blues in the more vibrant range.” We like the French green color of Vert Reseda.

What do you think of Marsala as the Pantone color of the year for 2015? Are there any pens and ink in shades of Marsala that you’d like to recommend?

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A Dozen Inks to Match Your Neon Coral LAMY Safari Fountain Pen

LAMY Safari Neon Coral & Matching Fountain Pen Inks
LAMY Safari Neon Coral & Matching Fountain Pen Inks

The Neon Coral LAMY Safari Fountain Pen is the new collectable limited edition color for the year 2014. What a vivacious, lively color this is! If you’re the fun-loving type that likes to match your ink to your colorful fountain pens, what color of ink could you choose to match the Neon Coral Safari?

The obvious choice would be the special new LAMY T10 fountain pen ink cartridges with coral colored ink! If you would rather use bottled ink what choices do you have? We’ve come up with a dozen ideas in varying shades for you shown in the photo above (actual colors will vary from what will be displayed on your electronic device).

Left column, top to bottom:

Right column, top to bottom:

If you’re not a fan of matching your ink to the bright color of the Neon Coral Safari, we do have some suggestions for contrasting ink colors. We especially love navy blue or blue-black ink with this pen, but would also suggest black or grey ink. Even a dark brown ink such as J. Herbin’s Cacao du Bresil would be nice. What color of ink do you like to use with the Neon Coral Safari Fountain Pen?

 

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A Smart Summer Project For Kids: Learn to Write in Cursive

Most parents are aware that for various reasons many schools have dropped learning cursive handwriting from the student curriculum. In this digital age is it worth continuing the tradition of cursive handwriting? I’m sure there are many differing opinions. One simple reason that students may want to learn cursive is that studies show writing notes by hand aids in learning more so than does taking notes with a tablet or computer. Cursive writing enables you to take notes much more quickly than printing does. WickiHow adds this incentive: “In a recent study, The College Board found that, for the essay part of the SAT, the students who wrote in cursive scored slightly higher than those who used print. They attribute it to the speed and efficiency of cursive that allows for greater focus on the content of the tests.” With school vacations on the horizon, now would be a good time to plan on making learning cursive a fun summer project for your kids.

Pelikano Junior, Turquoise, Left-Handed Nib
Pelikano Junior, Turquoise, Left-Handed Nib

One motivation for learning cursive or just improving your handwriting skills in general is using a fountain pen. This old school writing instrument writes with a very light touch, and the reduced pressure results in less writing fatigue. Plus the variety of colorful inks out there can make your hand writing look better than ever! For introducing a child to fountain pens, I would recommend a pen with a grip that helps with proper finger placement and also a nib that is easy to write with such as a medium, A, or left-handed nib. Pelikano fountain pens have been used by students for decades and they are a great fountain pen to get started with. The Pelikano comes in two versions: the Pelikano Junior for the very young student and the Pelikano for any age of student (or adult for that matter). Both of these pens come in several choices of color and nib size and have carefully designed grips that show you how to hold the pen. Don’t forget to get some extra Pelikan ink cartridges to refill your fountain pens! To browse through a variety of starter fountain pens including the Pelikano, take a look at the Beginner Fountain Pens at Writer’s Bloc.

Pelikan Pelikano Fountain Pen, Red, Medium Nib
Pelikan Pelikano Fountain Pen, Red, Medium Nib

French ruled paper is another aid to learning cursive handwriting or to improve your hand writing. It has an 8mm x 8mm grid, with additional lighter horizontal lines spaced 2mm apart inside the grid. These lines can be used as writing guides to keep your upper and lower case cursive letters a consistent size. Even though French ruled paper is difficult to find in the United States, this paper is routinely used by students in France as well as in other countries. Clairefontaine has a pretty good selection of this paper and you can order French ruled paper online at Writer’s Bloc. To find out more about French rule paper, take a look at our blog post: What is French Ruled Paper? Here are a couple of examples of practicing calligraphy and French cursive hand writing on French rule paper:

Using French Ruled Paper To Practice Hand Writing
Using French Ruled Paper To Practice Hand Writing

Another good resource can be the internet. If you do a search for “cursive writing” (or something similar), you’ll find many websites and tools to help children and adults to learn cursive hand writing. Many websites have practice pages that can be printed out for students of all ages. A few years ago I wanted to learn French cursive writing and found the following guide to be very useful:

French Cursive Hand Writing
French Cursive Hand Writing

Learning cursive handwriting is something that requires patience and practice, but it can pay off with better grades in school! Isn’t that worth the effort?

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