I had a chance to visit the Fountain Pen Hospital (http://fountainpenhospital.com) in Manhattan earlier this week. WOW!!! It's pretty amazing.
Had a great conversation with Joseph, who has been working there for 16 years. I tried out a Sailor 1911 with a music nib & some other pens, browsed the gorgeous pens in the showcases, salivated over all the inks and notebooks. I resisted buying any new pens, mainly because (1) I want to get to know my new Pilot Falcon better before considering other gold nib pens, (2) I need to keep an eye on my budget) and (3) was also feeling a tad overwhelmed by ALL THE CHOICES. :-)
This shop was founded in 1946 and used to focus on repairs, but now carries a wide range of vintage as well as modern-day writing instruments...PLUS pens, notebooks, inks and more.
I bought a Rotring pen after hearing about it from artist friends, as well as some inks, notebooks & other pen goodies:
When I got back to my friend's place, however, I realized that somehow my two Rhodia notebooks never made it into the bag...so I had an excuse to go back the next afternoon. Joseph apologized but I reassured him that it was mostly my fault for distracting him while he was ringing up my purchases; I was excitedly chatting with him about pens and the store as well as asking him to take a photo of me in the shop. :-)
Can't wait to try out all my new goodies.
Join us Saturday, October 22nd, 2016, 6-9 pm, for the first Karas Pen Co sponsored Arizona Pen Meetup. The event will be held at the Karas Kustoms shop (126 S. Country Club Dr, Mesa, AZ 85210, on the northwest corner of Country Club and Dana ). We will have the full line of Karas Pen Co pens available to sample as well as any other pens hanging out around the shop. Tables will be set up to easily share pens, chat about all things writing, and generally as a way to foster the Arizona Pen Community. A brief tour of the shop will take place shortly after 6 pm. Afterwards we invite everyone to sit down, ask questions, try out pens, and enjoy an evening with like-minded pen enthusiasts. Beverages and snacks will be provided. Parking is available along Dana on the side of the shop. Please RSVP HERE.
We've been wanting to offer notebooks for quite some time now, but we couldn't find a brand with good quality, fountain pen friendly paper that was reasonably priced. On a recent trip to Oregon, we discovered a brand named PENTALIC that meets our requirements. We hope they meet yours!
Here are a few writing samples, showing how the paper performs with both vintage flex and modern wide-and-wet stubs. In our opinion, just the right balance between no-bleeding and a level of absorbency that works well with all the nibs we've tried.
Their Traveler Pocket Journals are available in three sizes, feature heavy 74 lb (120 GSM) paper, and secures with an elastic strap. They come in ruled and grid paper in addition to their plain "sketch" notebooks.
Discounted, introductory pricing will end July 31st, so don't delay.
6x4 Inch Grid
6x4 Inch Ruled
6x4 Inch Sketch (Plain) -- Sale price $7.95
8x6 Inch Sketch (Plain) -- Sale price $11.95
4x3 Inch Sketch (Plain) -- Sale price $4.95
We're so pleased to be offering the Pentalic fountain-pen-friendly journals, that we are including one of the 4x3 inch mini-journals as a gift with every Ranga or PSP-Ranga pen purchased. (GIVEAWAY ENDS JULY 31, 2015.)
Master did eat them red end first and he did go MAD.
Her Ladyship called the doktor imejitlee and told him to bring three botles of gin.
When the doktor camed wit the gin he did see Master of top of the sidebord and sed "wot is you doing up der"
Master sed speshial words wot I am not alloud to use and told doktor abowt the Pills.
Doktor sed "you ~@£$ eejit, you shud eat them WHITE end first" and went away.
Her ladyship did snorted aND GO TO hER cHAMBERS WIT THE GIN. Ow! I did hitted a butting wit CAPS LOCK On iT and my cap fell off! sTupid ting !!!!
Master is now down from the sidebord and eating them propperly and is normal again. He did only blow up one side of the Laboratorryoy this week.
I must go now cos it is time for my fish heads. Yum yum.
First I want to give a big congrats to Celeste for winning the drawing for March! She’ll be getting her own custom pen designed to her specs, and it should be nice, too. We’ve already ironed out all of the details.
So far you’ve all helped to raise $5274.11. It looks like we should reach $6000 by the time scholarships are given out at the end of May. Thanks so much!
*****It’s April, and that means it’s time to start buying those postcards again to raise money for some graduating seniors going in to college. The applications have been coming in quickly here as it gets closer to the April 4 deadline.
If you buy postcards, you also are entered for a chance to win your own custom pen! Remember, one winner a month, and the drawing goes on all month long.
I will announce income for April and the winner of the custom pen on April 30, as close to 9 PM Central US time as I can get.
The drawings are free for all to enter, from all parts of the world. No restrictions at all.
During the entire month of April, if you buy a pack of student art postcards you’ll automatically be entered to win a pen, just send $10 via paypal to email@example.com and I’ll give you a number AND you’ll get a pack of postcards in the mail (so be sure to include your mailing address in the PayPal note). Every penny raised will go towards the scholarships and support students. Yes, you can buy as many postcard packs as you want, and for each pack, you’ll get a number.
The raffle itself is free. If you want to enter the raffle without supporting the scholarship (or getting any of those cool postcards) then all you have to do is send a note in the mail to:
PO Box 6084
Hot Springs, Ar. 71902
Everybody who enters will be given a number in the order of postcards purchased and letters in the mail, and at the end of the month I’ll draw a number to pick the winner of a custom pen. I use random.org as a number picker.
Raffle pens are limited to c/c filling system, steel nib of any size with any grind you want. If you want any extra customizations, bands or rings, special filling system, gold nib, or anything else, there will be normal charges.
If there are ANY questions, please do ask. If you have a suggestion about how to make things easier to explain or understand, please let me know. This is all about the success of the scholarship and getting financial help to as many kids as we can.
If you want to help the fund without buying postcards, contact me through email, firstname.lastname@example.org, for details.
Here's one of the pens I made for one of the winners.
1. “I’m confused how do I buy? I see no buy button for the postcards.”
–There is no buy button. You just send $10 via paypal to email@example.com along with a postal address and I send you a pack of cards and a free raffle number. If you type your address into the Note box, please use a comma to separate lines, otherwise your address will come to me as one long line, and I may not know where to break it up, especially for international addresses.
2. “Interesting idea. Is it open to non-USA residents? I couldn’t find information one way or the other, but postage costs must surely be an issue.”
–Open to everybody worldwide. International postage is only about $1.15 so not that bad.
3. “What kind of pen do I get if I win?”
–You get any model, any size, any nib grind, any material I have on hand. If you want a gold nib or special filling system (button, bulb, or piston) I ask that you pay for that. I’ll still cover shipping.
4. “How do I enter for free?”
–Send a note or postcard in the mail to me at
Newton Pens Free Raffle
PO Box 6084
Hot Springs, Ar. 71902
Include contact info like name and email or I won’t accept it. Nicknames/usernames don’t count. This is the same thing I tell my students at school: put your name on it or I can’t grade it!
5. “Who can get a scholarship? Art students only? Kids in Arkansas only? Kids at the school where you work only?”
–Right now the scholarship is open to any high school students going in to college, anywhere in the USA. Kids at any school can apply and receive a scholarship. Current college students are not eligible. Adults going back to school are not eligible.
You can browse my materials page for an idea of the materials I have on hand. If you win, and you want to see more, I’ll take more photos of my material stock.
Our fIne Pens Catalogue is now available on line, and here is a direct link to the catalogue listing:
We are viewing the pens in London from 30th June to 2nd July, and then again at Donnington Priory from next weekend.
Here is a taster from the sale, Namiki Emperor Autumn Flowers
This precious and unique writing instrument is the latest addition of the Italian brand to the Emozioni in Musica collection.
Presenting a characteristic design with exceptional trims and details, this fountain pen inspires the harlequin pattern of red, white and black diamond shapes that can be attributed to no other character.
The great combination of colours create an unusual contrast that evokes every collectors eye and stands out for its tremendous quality and materials.
A handmade black and red glass “murrina” on top of the red cap was inspired by the puffy sleeves and pantaloons that comprise a harlequin’s garb, while the pocket clip is styled in the manner of the jester’s footwear.
The luxury materials of this piece aggregates even more quality. Depending of the model, all trims are made of solid silver or solid gold
Available soon at www.iguanasell.com!! If more information is needed contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We now have Premium Accounts!
Premium Accounts have been created in order to offer something extra for the business people and/or budding entrepreneurs frequenting and supporting the Fountain Pen Network. These accounts have significant benefits over Bronze, Silver and Gold membership accounts, and they are specifically intended for traders, vendors, entrepreneurs, sellers, people providing pen services, manufacturers, representatives and anybody else on the business or advanced hobbyist side of the fountain pen community to promote their wares, knowledge, skills, and services. IOW, something that wasn't available on FPN in the past, and which offers unprecedented new features and options for those partaking!
Premium Account Holders
Premium account holders have various options available to promote and enhance their business or services, right here on FPN, the largest pen community in the world, with over 75,000 registered members and over 300,000 unique visitors (ip-addresses) each month, with both continuing to grow at an almost alarming rate!
FPN is very highly ranked with regard to website traffic, within the 99th percentile, and FPN's site rank is well below the 100,000 mark when considering all sites worldwide (based on a survey of 25,511,510 domain names):
The Fountain Pen Network Ranking Score
So, what better place to promote your goods and services, with the largest ready-made target audience in the world, right here on FPN!
In short, do check out all the benefits you will get, here, when signing up for a premium account:
FPN Premium Accounts, Table of Comparison
And in signing up, you'll not only help yourself, but help this site grow further too!
The FPN Moderator and Admin Team
You will likely have noticed some changes at the top of the board, right underneath the header and tabs. After some iterations, there are a few image links rather than a boring piece of text referring to the FPN Pen Store, and a few more. Essentially, all options which support funding of FPN are clearly visible now.
FPN well within top 100,000 busiest websites, worldwide
One of the reasons for making these options more visible is that FPN is starting to run more and more like treacle rather than a fast flowing mountain stream when it comes to the browsing experience. This is caused by the simple fact that the current hosting plan doesn't really cater anymore for the amount of registered members and visitors we have. On a monthly basis, we have over 300,000 unique visitors (= different ip-addresses from which we are visited), and the download stream is up to 30 GB or more a day currently - which is a lot for what basically is moslty plain text plus a few images going down the line. And new registrations on FPN is still on the increase as well. FPN reached the top 100,000 busiest web sites worldwide category towards the end of last year, and for a non-commercial site I think that is nothing short of awesome - thanks to our membership here!
Hosting of FPN
Furthermore, likely due to the economic crisis, and several other factors, while costs keep mounting, funding is a worrisome issue. It costs a lot to run this board, and if we want to keep up with the increasing numbers here, we will need to upgrade to the next category of hosting plans, tripling resources, but also tripling hosting costs.
More changes required
It will be clear that we need to make some changes as a result.
Some of the simple quick wins we are doing already now, or have done so, and the initiative to alter the header at the top of the board was one of them. We will also make some changes to the Writing Instruments forum very shortly. It is extremely busy, by far the busiest forum, and as a result it has become so slow that it is really worrisome. The plan is to divide it in two or three forums very, very soon, to split the load. More announcements on this split will follow.
Changes coming to Classifieds
We will also make some changes to Classifieds, and likely not all will be very popular. First of all we will make posting a Classified easier. We think that the rules have become engrained enough now that we can do with a general acceptance of the rules and guidelines once, rather than have all the relevant bits completely spelled out as is now the case.
Researching the listed advertisements has also shown that many of our members who are hobbyists and are interested in fountain pens from a user's or collector's POV, do not really place many ads, less than 10 classifeds on an annual basis. So we will tighten the rules for normal Gold Members further, allowing a maximum of 3 items per week to smaller maximum on an annual basis than the current limits.
Classifieds section is not a storefront
We have also always maintained that the Classifieds and FPN is not a storefront for people who are only interested in selling or running their business from FPN, and are therefore looking at options to make the presence of traders more pleasant and more predictable, both for our normal members, and for the traders themselves. And frankly, having the largest ready made target group and busiest site in the world for people interested in fountain pens and related items, this must be worth something - this may even help with funding, and secure the existence of FPN in the future.
FPN now a registered company
Other items that have changed or are changing, is that FPN now is owned by a registered company. This had to be done not only from a legal and tax POV, but also in order to secure the FPN hosting and servicing funds. We would have stood to lose a lot of funding to taxes otherwise, and in addition there are legislative conditions we do have to adhere to .
Possible changes to donations?
Finally we are also thinking of changing the donation system. Currently that is totally anonymous, and we don't really know whether our members who donate, would like that changed or not. We will start a topic on this in Community Feedback soon, and further announcements will follow.
More news will follow soon.
Warm regards, Wim
On behalf of the FPN Moderator and Admin Team
We are in the process of making a few changes to FPN. Currently we have extensive discussions in the Moderator and Admin Team on the way forward for our great board.
You will likely have seen some changes for the good already . Rather than a boring piece of text with links at the top of the board, there are now some brighly but tastefully coloured visual clues to the options we have in place to support this place. And over the past few days several options were improved or added as well .
1) The FPN Pen Store
The FPN Pen Store is accessible now from the FPN Shopping Mall tab, with two options, or directly either from the link or from the pen picture in the header.
2) FPN Ink Orders
The Ink ordering system now has its own link here, and it automatically creates an FPN Ink Ordering Email for you which lists all the essential information we require be able to process your order.
3) FPN Café Press Store
The renewed and overhauled FPN Café Press Shop is clearly visible there too, and is also accessible from the FPN Shopping Mall Tab.
4) FPN Support Options
Last but not least a set of support options through PayPal is available as well, allowing now not only for a single donation of your choice, but also for a yearly subscription with several choices if you so like. These options are available at the bottom of the page as well, but require scrolling down quite a bit.
The new implementation makes these options visible on each page here on FPN, which makes it extremely easy to find them, we think.
We are planning on adding more options to help with funding, and we will ask your input too. Therefore, keep your eyes peeled, and do check the latest News, the Recommended Reading Sidebar, and the Community Feedback forum on a regular basis.
The reason for this new funding drive is simple: we need funds in order to keep this site going! And with the current increase in Member numbers, at a rate of 100-120 a day(!), and which already stands at over 75,000, with about 2,500,000 posts in the forums, we will need a drastic increase in funding in order to service our community well. Essentially we are looking at a tripling of required funds, for the next step up in hosting (!).
In short, any good ideas on how to achieve this are much appreciated! And keep on buying and donating, of course, it supports us all!
Thank you all very much in advance!
The FPN Admin and Moderator Team
One or two of you may remember my name from the dim distant past, before all became dreadfully complicated and I had to lie low for some time. I re-emerge finally in triumph (as would be expected) to clear up any misunderstandings which may have arisen, and clear my name once and for all.
My one avid reader (God bless him/her) may recall that one of my many hobbies is Amateur Medicine and Surgery. Many are the tomes I have read on the subject, and I may say in all modesty, that I am generally considered one of the world's foremost experts on these subjects.
I also, for research purposes, collect diseases and maladies (I won't bore you with the full list).
Some time back I took an interest in cancer (not having had it before), and so developed a fine lump on the right hand side of my face.
I was careful about this because our local photographer Séamuseen Beag Mac an Ridire - he calls himself "Flash", and the feliows in the local public house call him "Oh my Bloody Eyes" - stated definitively that my left side was the more photogenic.
Anyoldhow, the lump grew apace and it was decided that something must be done. This is where things got a little complicated.
Johnson MacSean, our under-gardener called with a bottle of foul smelling unction which he claimed would do the job. I was touched by his concern, but had to point out that it was NOT canker from which I was suffering. He beat an apologetic retreat.
Her Ladyship had been in clandestine discussions with our local doctor and they decided to ship me off to the Royal Victoria Eye and Ear Hospital in Dublin where a Professor Timon would operate and remove the offending piece of Murphy.
I, naturally enough, told them I was quite capable of doing the job myself, and a rather unseemly altercation took place, which ended in my agreeing to at least see this Professor chap.
Very pleasant and knowledgable was he when we met, and he readily (after some hours discussion) agreed to my plan.
The general idea was that I would take a local anaesthetic, in the form of 20yr old Jamesons Whiskey, we would rig up an arrangement of mirrors so that I could operate with my new electric carving tool, while he would oversee in case anything should go amiss.
And now the the awful part:
Shortly after admission the anaesthetist asked me to take a "couple of whiffs of oxygen, to get your levels up".
No sooner had I started than I passed out and came to in my room with staples, stitches, drips, tubes, and half the contents of the hospital workshop hanging from my face. I was LIVID!
Intercepting the Professor on his rounds I made it clear what I thought of his underhanded tactics, and unfortunately things got a little heated.
I must say that the Gardai (our Police) and the Judge were very understanding when they heard my side of things, even to the point of arranging a special room at a private clinic where I could convalesce.
All is well that ends well, they say - but beware! There are some VERY sneaky members of the Medical Profession out there my friends.
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