2016 Pantone Color of the Year & Your Favorite Office Supplies

Rose Quartz & Serenity - Pantone Colors of the Year 2016
Rose Quartz & Serenity – Pantone Colors of the Year 2016

The Pantone color of the year for 2016 is actually a pairing of two colors: Rose Quartz and Serenity. The Pantone website explains the thought behind their selection for this year:

Joined together Rose Quartz and Serenity demonstrate an inherent balance between a warmer embracing rose tone and the cooler tranquil blue, reflecting connection and wellness as well as a soothing sense of order and peace.

Would you like to add these calm, relaxing colors to your stationery arsenal? Below are a few of our favorite choices of pens, ink and paper related items that are part of this color family.

Platinum Plaisir Fountain Pen - Frosty Blue, Medium Nib
Platinum Plaisir Fountain Pen – Frosty Blue, Medium Nib

The first pens that come to my mind when I think of Serenity and Rose Quartz are the Platinum Plaisir fountain pens in a pearlized soft pink and frosty blue. Also worth mentioning is the popular Aurora Style Aquamarine pale blue fountain pen.

Aurora Style Gemstone Collection Fountain Pen Aquamarine
Aurora Style Gemstone Collection Fountain Pen Aquamarine

It’s not common to find pastel shades of fountain pen ink, however there are a few inks out there that remind me of the 2016 Pantone colors. Noodler’s Periwinkle Eternal Ink is inspired by the color of the blue curve of a periwinkle snail’s shell and Noodler’s Ink Polar Blue makes me think of washed denim. J. Herbin’s Bouquet d’Antan is a soft, muted shade of light pink. If the thought of a tropical sea makes you feel relaxed, then try J. Herbin Bleu Azur fountain pen ink.

Noodler's Ink - Polar Blue
Noodler’s Ink – Polar Blue
Noodler's Periwinkle Fountain Pen Ink
Noodler’s Periwinkle Fountain Pen Ink
J. Herbin Bleu Azur Fountain Pen Ink
J. Herbin Bleu Azur Fountain Pen Ink
J. Herbin Bouquet d'Antan Fountain Pen Ink
J. Herbin Bouquet d’Antan Fountain Pen Ink

The PlePle Candy Wrap Pen and Pencil Case is a calming shade of blue.

PlePle Candy Wrap Pen Case Blue
PlePle Candy Wrap Pen Case Blue

Personalize your letters or other items by using a brass stamp and J. Herbin Rose colored Supple Sealing Wax.

J. Herbin Supple Sealing Wax in Rose
J. Herbin Supple Sealing Wax in Rose

Shades of blue and pink pastel paper can be found in Clairefontaine’s Multiple Subject Notebooks (small, medium or large) and Clairefontaine Loose Sheets of paper with Graph or French Rules. Exacompta also has pastel colored index cards that are super smooth and their grid lines make it so that any side of the card can be the top.

What are your favorite Rose Quartz and Serenity blue colored pens, paper and ink?

Clairefontaine Multiple Subject Notebook
Clairefontaine Multiple Subject Notebook
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Ten Fountain Pens to Buy For Your Girlfriend

Alright guys, let’s face it. Sometimes you are clueless as to what kind of gifts to buy for your girlfriend. Suppose you are passionate about writing with a fountain pen and you would like to introduce your girlfriend, wife or daughter to what the fuss is all about. Perhaps your girl is an artist, writer or a business professional and a fountain pen seems like a natural gift. Guys are often attracted to technical pens that are heavy, large and masculine in color and appearance. Women tend to like pens that are slender and lighter in weight with an attractive, stylish appearance. You may be thinking you need to buy a diamond-encrusted limited edition fountain pen (and by all means do it if you can afford it!), but a more modest investment is a good approach if you’re not sure if she’ll share your love of writing with a fountain pen. Take a look at our suggestions and maybe you’ll find something on this list that will appeal to your special friend. We’re listing these by price – from the least expensive to the most expensive.

Pilot Metropolitan Fountain Pen White Tiger
Pilot Metropolitan Fountain Pen White Tiger

1) Pilot Metropolitan Animal Fountain Pen

The Pilot Metropolitan’s medium nib is smooth, easy to write with and the pen comes complete with a gift box, ink cartridge and ink converter for use when you buy her a bottle of ink to go with it. A fabulous deal for the price! We particularly like the pearly White Tiger or Violet Leopard, but if animal prints aren’t your girlfriend’s style there are also other color options.

Platinum Plaisir Fountain Pen Frosty Blue
Platinum Plaisir Fountain Pen Frosty Blue

2) Platinum Plaisir Fountain Pen

The Platinum Plaisir is low maintenance thanks to a special inner cap that keeps the ink from drying out in the nib. Its pearlized finish comes in a flashy bright lipstick Red as well as more demure Frosty Blue, Pink or Violet colors. For this pen, we favor the fine nib for someone new to fountain pens.

PlePle Candy Wrap Pen Case with Preppy Pens
PlePle Candy Wrap Pen Case with Preppy Pens

3) Set of Colorful Platinum Preppy Fountain Pens with a Pen Pouch

Women love color and many love to write with colorful ink! How fun it would be to receive a set of 7 colorful Preppy Fountain Pens each with their own matching ink color. To complete this gift it is a must to buy a pen pouch to store them all in. There are tons of pen pouches to choose from such as the PlePle Wrap Pen Case which happens to fit seven Preppy Pens perfectly!

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

4) LAMY Safari or AL-Star Fountain Pen

LAMY Safari & LAMY AL-Star fountain pens have the same basic design, but are made from different materials. The Safari comes in solid colors and is made of sturdy ABS plastic, and the AL-Star has a light-weight aluminum body with a matte metallic finish. Our favorite picks are the Purple AL-Star and the limited edition Pink LAMY Safari. Both are available in a variety of colors and a variety of nib sizes and are hugely popular with writers of all sorts. Writing with a LAMY is a fabulous way to be introduced to the world of fountain pens! It was what got me hooked 🙂

Platinum Cool Fountain Pen Crystal Rose
Platinum Cool Fountain Pen Crystal Rose

5) Platinum Cool Fountain Pen

The Platinum Cool Fountain Pen is a demonstrator pen, which means it has a clear body that allows you to see the inside of the pen and gives it a more “delicate” appearance. The clear Crystal Rose pink is very feminine, and if pink is not her thing then we suggest the clear Crystal Blue which is a serene sky blue color. The Platinum Cool Pens are packaged in a clear gift box and include an ink converter for using bottled ink.

Pilot Prera Demonstrator Fountain Pen with Light Green Accents
Pilot Prera Demonstrator Fountain Pen with Light Green Accents

6) Pilot Prera Demonstrator

This Pilot Prera fountain pen is a clear demonstrator pen with a pop of color on the end of the cap and the end of the body. If your girlfriend likes to write with colorful ink the clear body of the pen is a nice feature since it allows you to see the colorful ink inside the pen. When it is capped, the pen is very compact so it fits easily into a pocket or purse. Conveniently this pen comes with an ink converter so you can use bottled ink and is available with a variety of accent colors such as Light Green, Light Blue, Pink and more. The fine nib is a good choice for writers with small handwriting.

Aurora Style Gemstone Collection Fountain Pen Aquamarine
Aurora Style Gemstone Collection Fountain Pen Aquamarine

7) Aurora Style Fountain Pen

Aurora Style fountain pens have a sleek, modern appearance, perfect for writers that don’t like a lot of fussy frilly details. The Style Gemstone collection includes a beautiful pale Aquamarine Blue and a pale Amethyst Purple. For those drawn towards bright colors I really like the golden-yellow Mustard and the burgundy-red Paprika Style pens. There are also other more conservative color options like a soft White.

Pelikan Classic Special Edition M205 Fountain Pen - Aquamarine
Pelikan Classic Special Edition M205 Fountain Pen – Aquamarine

8) Pelikan Classic M205 or M200 Fountain Pen

The Pelikan Classic M205 or M200 Fountain Pen seems to be made for a woman’s hand. It is one of Pelikan’s smaller fountain pens so it is just the right size. It has a piston filling system which means it is meant to be used with bottled ink.

Delta Vintage Fountain Pen Ruby Red
Delta Vintage Fountain Pen Ruby Red

9) Delta Vintage Fountain Pen

The Delta Vintage Fountain Pen is hand-made from a mother of pearl acrylic resin that beautifully catches the light. This modern Italian-made pen comes in a gift box with an ink cartridge. The marbled Ruby Red or White pens are gorgeous!

Pilot Custom 74 Fountain Pen Violet
Pilot Custom 74 Fountain Pen Violet

10) Pilot Custom 74 Fountain Pen

Besides the fact that the Pilot Custom 74 is an awesome fountain pen to write with, we particularly love the inspiring color of the clear Violet Custom 74 pen. I really want to use this violet pen along with Pilot Iroshizuku Beautyberry ink! This is the only pen on our list with a 14K nib, so naturally this pen is a bit more of an investment, but it is not over-the-top expensive. It comes with all the goodies you need – a gift box, ink cartridge and an ink converter – and it is available in several other colors such as a cheerful orange or a sapphire blue.

Remember guys, usually only one ink cartridge is included with a new fountain pen (if it has a cartridge/converter filling system), so be sure to get an extra pack of ink cartridges or a bottle of ink and an ink converter (if necessary) when you buy your gift. If she loves writing with her new fountain pen she’ll be sure to appreciate the extra thoughtfulness on your part.

Now that we’ve got 10 fountain pens on our list we feel that the list could be expanded by many, many more. All of you women writers out there, what fountain pen do you wish your man would buy for you?

 

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Top 10 Fountain Pen Inks

There is a fountain pen ink for every color of the rainbow and each of them has its own special characteristics. Fountain pen ink comes in cartridges or bottles that encompass designs from utilitarian to a piece of art that begs to be displayed. A writer could spend a lifetime experimenting and writing with the plethora of inks currently available. So how did these fountain pen inks make our top ten list? Some of them are best sellers, some are staff favorites and others have their own qualities that make them special. We have chosen to list the inks by price, from most expensive to least expensive (this is not to say that whatever is the most expensive is the best). Certainly, our top ten list will be different than yours, so please share with us your favorite inks!

Pilot Iroshizuku Bottled Fountain Pen Inks
Pilot Iroshizuku Bottled Fountain Pen Inks

1. Pilot Iroshizuku Fountain Pen Ink – Most Beautiful Bottle

Pilot Iroshizuku ink comes in a glamorous modern and sophisticated oval-shaped bottle. This heavy glass bottle even has an indentation on the bottom of the interior to help you use the ink down to the last few drops. Add to this the wide range of colors that express the beauty of nature in Japan and you’ve got a stylish winner! On our list, the runner up in this category would definitely be Pelikan’s Edelstein ink.

Platinum Carbon Black Fountain Pen Ink
Platinum Carbon Black Fountain Pen Ink

2. Platinum Carbon Black Ink

Platinum Carbon Black ink is a favorite of artists that create art with a fountain pen. It is pigment based rather then dye based which makes it very water-resistant, fade-resistant and heat-resistant after it dries. It is often used for drawing along with a watercolor wash.

Pelikan M205 Duo Yellow Highlighter Ink
Pelikan M205 Duo Yellow Highlighter Ink

3. Pelikan M205 Duo Yellow Highlighting Ink

If you’re tired of tossing away dried-up plastic highlighter pen carcasses you can refill them instead using Pelikan M205 Duo fluorescent highlighter ink. You can also use this ink with the classic Pelikan M205 Highlighter Fountain Pen or create your own long-lasting refillable highlighter using a fountain pen + highlighter pen! Check out the D.I.Y. instructions:
Pen Mods: How to make a long-lasting refillable highlighter pen
D.I.Y. Highlighter Recharging

OMAS Sepia Bottled Fountain Pen Ink
OMAS Sepia Bottled Fountain Pen Ink

4. Omas Sepia Fountain Pen Ink

Omas Sepia fountain pen ink has a modern formula but a vintage, old timey-wimey appearance and it looks fabulous on cream colored paper! The interesting bottle design allows you to tip the bottle on its side while filling your pen with ink which helps a lot when the bottle’s ink level is starting to run low.

Aurora Black Fountain Pen Ink
Aurora Black Fountain Pen Ink

5. Aurora Black Fountain Pen Ink

Aurora Black ink is our top choice for a friendly, easy to use ink that is a deep, dark, intense black color. It comes in both Ink cartridges suitable for Aurora fountain pens or in bottles so that you can use it with just about any fountain pen.

Noodler's Bulletproof Black Fountain Pen Ink
Noodler’s Bulletproof Black Fountain Pen Ink

6. Noodler’s Bulletproof Black Ink

Noodler’s Bulletproof Black ink is a great daily workhorse that is suitable for a wide variety of situations. It has “bulletproof” qualities which means its resists the effects of water, bleach and light. This made in the USA bottled ink is more economical and environmentally friendly than ink in cartridges which many writers appreciate.

Noodler's Aircorp Blue-Black Fountain Pen Ink
Noodler’s Aircorp Blue-Black Fountain Pen Ink

7. Noodler’s Aircorp Blue-Black

Noodler’s Aircorp Blue-Black is Alex’s favorite ink to use daily in any sort of pen including rollerball pens that use fountain pen ink and even in pens where the ink flow tends to be a bit on the dry side. Instead of being a regular black or standard blue color it is an interesting shade of blue-black.

J. Herbin Bottled Fountain Pen Ink
J. Herbin Bottled Fountain Pen Ink

8. J. Herbin is the Lefty’s Favorite Ink

Being a left-handed fountain pen writer presents its own set of challenges. Ink must dry quickly or be smeared all over the page! I’ve successfully used a wide variety of ink without smearing by pairing it with the right paper and a fine or medium nib. I must say though that J. Herbin La Perle des Encres is the ink I always go back to. Love the variety of colors, I can use most of them without smearing and the bottle has a nifty pen-rest.

J. Herbin Vert Reseda Bottled Fountain Pen Ink
J. Herbin Vert Reseda Bottled Fountain Pen Ink

9. J. Herbin Vert Reseda

J. Herbin Vert Reseda turquoise ink is Alan’s all-time favorite ink color! He loves this color of French green.

LAMY T52 Black Bottled Fountain Pen Ink
LAMY T52 Black Bottled Fountain Pen Ink

10. LAMY Black Fountain Pen Ink

LAMY T52 Black fountain pen ink is a best seller for many reasons: it is easy to use in any pen, it is low maintenance and good for beginners, the price is economical and black is the the most commonly used color of fountain pen ink. It comes in a cool bottle that includes a handy small roll of blotter tape and it is also available in cartridges for LAMY fountain pens.

We’ve shared our list – now tell us what your top 10 fountain pen inks are!

Pelikan Edelstein Fountain Pen Ink
Pelikan Edelstein Fountain Pen Ink
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Graduation Gifts 2013

The 2013 school year has almost come to a close for many happy, relieved and proud Graduates. What will you get your Grad to celebrate their accomplishments? We’re happy to share a few of our ideas.

1) The 5 Book

The 5 Book has got to be one of the ultimate gifts for any Graduate. As Grads enter college or the work force they face the challenge of setting goals and making many decisions. What can help? The 5 Book was designed to stimulate thinking and direct your Grad to goals they can use to map out the next five years of their life. Really, I think just about every one of us could use this book.

(Aurora Style Fountain Pen in the color Aquamarine)

2) A Classy Pen

A classy pen can last a lifetime and then be passed on to a future generation of Graduates. Even in a world full of technology a fantastic pen is a gift that is really appreciated. Chances are your Grad has not yet experienced the pleasure of writing with a fountain pen. The sleek modern design of the Aurora Style fountain pen was created with young professionals in mind. Fill it with some Aurora fountain pen cartridges in a deep black ink and impress a hipster!

(Delta Vintage Rollerball Pen in the color Deep Ocean)

If you feel that a fountain pen is a little too old-fashioned for your Grad, a quality rollerball pen that can be refilled with fountain pen ink is a good alternative. A classy rollerball pen works well when signing documents that produce multiple carbon copies. Pulling out a beautiful Delta Vintage rollerball pen for the signature that finalizes a deal is sure to impress! J. Herbin ink cartridges in the color Bleu Nuit would be a nice match.

3) Leather Pen Case

When you invest in the gift of a classy pen, a genuine leather pen case is the perfect accessory. It protects your pen from damage when it is carried in a purse or briefcase. Aston Leather has many fine leather pen cases to fit your Grad’s needs. The Aston single pen leather slip case is a simple, reasonably priced popular choice that comes in three choices of  color.

4)  Rhodia Meeting Book

The Rhodia Meeting Book can help keep a young professional entering the business world organized and on top of their project deadlines and goals. It’s more than just for work meetings though – the layout is based on a method of note taking designed by a professor at Cornell University. This note taking method can help any college student refresh their memory for mid-terms and finals.

(Moleskine Audio Cassette Journal)

5) A Unique Journal

This is an action packed, eventful time of a young person’s life. A unique journal is a great outlet for emotions and channeling creativity. The Moleskine Audio Cassette Journal celebrates the 50th anniversary of the audio cassette with a fun retro design..

6) Eurogames

Chances are your Grad could use some inexpensive R&R with their friends. Why not introduce them to a Eurogame and they can discover for themselves why these games are increasingly popular! Settlers of Catan is a great gateway to the world of Eurogames.

Do you have a Grad in your life? What gift ideas or special plans do you have in mind for them?

Want to win a $25.00 gift certificate to spend at Writer’s Bloc? See the comments below for details!

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Writer’s Bloc Top 10 Fountain Pens

What are the top ten fountain pens? Anyone that writes with a fountain pen could likely come up with a unique list of their own ten favorite pens. Our list of the top ten fountain pens was created by considering several different factors including our own employee favorites. These fountain pens, as well as others that we choose to make available in our shop, are all carefully selected based on their individual strengths. We decided to number the pens in our top 10 list based on their current price – from the most expensive to the least expensive. See if any of your favorites are listed here:

1) Aurora Optima Demonstrator Fountain Pen – Alan says that writing with this pen is like driving a high performance European sports car. The quality and materials are beautiful and it is a joy write with. He especially loves the character of the nib which he describes as solid and somewhat toothy allowing him feel the “road conditions” as he writes.  Alan also loves fountain pens with a clear body so that you can see all of the parts and inner workings of the pen. The hidden ink reservoir feature has bailed him out near the end of meetings when he is running out of ink.

2) Pilot Custom 74 Fountain Pen – This is another favorite of Alan’s. He is a fan of extra fine nibs and loves the performance of this Japanese fine nib. He likes pens that are not too heavy and for him it has the right balance in his hand and is the perfect writing weight. His favorite Custom 74 colors include Clear and Orange and he says Smoke is a good choice if you like a less clear and more solid looking pen.

3) LAMY 2000 Fountain Pen – Alex says one reason to love the LAMY 2000 is its sleek modern Bauhaus design with its hooded nib and interesting Makrolon body and cap. Superficial reasons aside, this is a great pen to write with!

4) Namiki Falcon Fountain Pen – The Namiki Falcon is outstanding for the reason that it comes equipped with a modern 14K semi-flex nib that gives a soft, flexible feel to your writing experience. It allows for variation of stroke width while you write or draw and really shines when it is paired with ink that has good shading. Alan says that with his Falcon the ink flow is absolutely superb!

5) Pelikan M200/M205 Classic Fountain Pen – This Pelikan fountain pen has a legendary piston filling system and at its price point it is a great first step into the world of piston fill fountain pens. It is consistently a best seller and Pelikan has been in the business of creating high quality fountain pens for many years. This particular pen has a steel nib, but you can upgrade to the Pelikan M400/M405 if you prefer a gold nib. Pelikan offers special limited edition colors of the M200/M205 such as this sophisticated taupe color!

6) Stipula Bon Voyage Fountain Pen – The Bon Voyage fountain pen was specifically created to be eyedropper fill and even comes with an eyedropper for easy filling. When capped it is a compact pocket size and if you happen to be nervous about carrying an eyedropper pen in your pocket you also have the option of using short standard universal ink cartridges. It can easily be converted to a rollerball pen by removing the fountain pen feed (just unscrew it from the barrel) and replacing it with a rollerball feed. This Stipula has some pretty cool features that you can’t find on just any fountain pen!

7) LAMY Safari Fountain Pen – If fountain pens were to have a popularity contest it is pretty likely that this guy would win. I would venture to say that a plethora of writers that regularly use fountain pens have at least one LAMY Safari in their pen case. It’s a favorite everyday writer and its price makes it accessible to students and professionals alike.

8) Platinum Plaisir Fountain Pen – This is Cher’s favorite everyday “purse” fountain pen. She loves the special cap that prevents ink from drying out in the nib. The durable anodized aluminum body has a pearlized finish that comes in several fun colors such as sports car red and pale violet. As a left-handed writer she also appreciates that the grip is suitable for lefties and that the fine nib is the ideal size for her – the fine line of ink dries quickly and i
t is not too “pokey or scratchy” for her strange lefty writing position.

9) Pilot Metropolitan Fountain Pen – Great pen, great price. Need we say more? Makes a thoughtful inexpensive gift: it’s less than $20.00, the nib size is easy to write with even for beginners, it’s made from durable materials and it comes with a stylish Pilot gift box.

10) Platinum Preppy Fountain Pen – The lovable Preppy fountain pen is so inexpensive it is an easy introduction into the world of fountain pens. For a disposable fountain pen it offers amazing quality! It comes in seven colors and Platinum designed it so that it can be refilled or even converted to eyedropper fill.

That’s our top 10 list! What’s yours? What fountain pens would you put on your top 10 list? We’d love to hear about your favorites!

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