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Sugarcane Paper at Staples


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#1 Djehuty

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Posted 06 September 2008 - 02:09

It sounds like a joke, but it isn't. smile.gif

Staples has a new line of "Eco-Easy" products, including sugarcane-based paper. It's supposed to be environmentally friendly. Depending on how much pollution is released during sugarcane processing, and how much rain forest is slashed-and-burned for its cultivation, this may or may not be absolutely true; but it's not creating any new mess, so at the least it's relatively true. smile.gif

The paper is surprisingly nice, though the presentation is rather cheap (which isn't a bad thing, because the price is cheap, too). I bought a little 100-sheet, 7.5" x 9.75" composition notebook for 99¢. It has a plain brown cardboard covers, stitched together cahier-style. There was a seemingly identical composition notebook next to it, with "Compositions" stamped on the front and space for a name and date, which sold for $2.49. I could see no other difference, so I bought the cheaper one. Made in Egypt.

The paper is very smooth and quite thin, rather like a thinner version of Apica paper. I wrote a bit on one page using my Pelikan M805 with F nib, using Visconti Blue ink. There was no feathering, but the line seemed a tad wider than usual. There was no bleed-through, though as one would expect with paper this thin there was some show-through. Fortunately, the notebooks are cheap enough that there's no great loss if you only use one side of the page. The binding isn't of the right sort for the pages to lie flat when open, but the bump in the middle isn't too bad, and there's a generous inner margin. The paper is lined with narrow, pale brown lines. I didn't see any unlined versions.

Here are scans of a writing sample on this paper, and the front of the notebook:



I'm impressed -- smooth paper and a pleasant writing experience for a very low price, with the added bonus of reduced ecological guilt. smile.gif I may pick up a few of these to use as journals, as they're cheap enough that I won't particularly care if I write a load of bunk that makes me want to spill ink all over the page, and unlike Apica notebooks they're not so pretty that I'd feel bad about doing so. biggrin.gif


#2 Chemyst

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Posted 06 September 2008 - 02:14

If you like this sort of thing, take a look at: http://www.ecopaper.com/

The cigar and coffee paper is kind of dark for writing, but the banana paper works great.

#3 Blade Runner

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Posted 06 September 2008 - 02:27

Crane's stationery is also eco friendly, because it's made from recycled cotton - old towels, sheets, underwear, etc.
No trees grown for Crane's.

#4 jmkeuning

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Posted 06 September 2008 - 02:56

We just got our first Staples in the area, if they are open yet I will go tomorrow and get some of these.
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#5 MS3607

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Posted 06 September 2008 - 03:05

I put these notebooks up about a month ago with the same praise as you. I have now filled one up and am pleased to say that other than not being able to write on the backsides the notebook held up very well.
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#6 Djehuty

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Posted 06 September 2008 - 03:51

Chemyst -- thanks for the link! smile.gif

Jeen -- thanks, that's good to know about Crane's. I've been using Rhodia/Clairefontaine products, because they claim to be about as green as possible, given that they do use wood pulp. I really like the G. Lalo stationery, but Crane's might be an even better choice.


#7 Possum Hill

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Posted 06 September 2008 - 12:28

QUOTE (Chemyst @ Sep 5 2008, 09:14 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
If you like this sort of thing, take a look at: http://www.ecopaper.com/

The cigar and coffee paper is kind of dark for writing, but the banana paper works great.

Those papers look interesting and attractive, but seem pretty pricey for 90% post-consumer recycled content.
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#8 Possum Hill

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Posted 06 September 2008 - 12:34

Bagasse, what's left of the sugarcane stalks after the juice was extracted, used to be just waste. Now sugar mills burn it for more than enough energy to process the sugar. Where sugarcane is processed into ethanol it may eventually be used as cellulosic feed stock for ethanol.
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#9 lefty928

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Posted 06 September 2008 - 12:44

Thanks. Over the summer I was tempted to try these notebooks, but was worried about showthrough. Now my question is answered!
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#10 Possum Hill

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Posted 06 September 2008 - 12:49

The penny just dropped; Brazil exports paper. Maybe there's someone on FPN who's familiar with the Brazilian paper industry, who would know if much paper is made from sugarcane.
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#11 JohnS-MI

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Posted 06 September 2008 - 18:18

QUOTE (Possum Hill @ Sep 6 2008, 08:34 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Bagasse, what's left of the sugarcane stalks after the juice was extracted, used to be just waste. Now sugar mills burn it for more than enough energy to process the sugar. Where sugarcane is processed into ethanol it may eventually be used as cellulosic feed stock for ethanol.


Actually, where they process cane to ethanol, the bagasse is used to provide the distillation heat required to distill ethanol. To my knowkledge, it is all burned and any excess heat is sold as process steam to orange juice concentrate plants, or they generate electricity and sell it to the grid. The ethanol process is much more energy intensive than making sugar, so they don't have a lot to sell, but some. This makes the Brazilian ethanol process MUCH more viable than the US corn process in terms of costs and net renewable energy.

#12 Heirphoto

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Posted 08 September 2008 - 01:31

These look pretty nice. My closest Staples only had the spiral bound versions left along with notebook filler paper but I may try another one tomorrow. Normal price is $2.49 and they have been on sale for $0.99 hence the empty shelves.

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#13 nickyd

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Posted 15 January 2009 - 23:45

Does anyone know if this is available in the UK?

#14 Inka

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Posted 26 February 2009 - 06:25

After seeing this 80% sugarcane waste paper mentioned on the forum last night, I ran out to my local Staples and bought some just minutes before they closed.
They had a small journal, a composition book with sewn-in pages and some college ruled loose leaf 3-ring binder paper.
I bought two packs of the binder paper for now, just to try it out before spending more on the sugarcane journals or composition books.

This morning I dug out my old olive-green zippered canvas binder/organizer, one that I'd bought back in 1999 when in IT college while taking Web-Design classes.
Pulling out all of the old college ruled, blue lined binder paper that was in it, I replaced it all with the new light-brown ruled sugarcane.
Then I took a sheet of each type of paper, sat down and made myself comfortable on the couch, pulled out my solid laminated bamboo lap desk and went to work with my FPs.
On the old standard college ruled paper, only my XXF nib FP wrote without noticeable bleeding despite the inks used, while any larger nibs soaked in and many bled through to the backside.
On the new Staples sugarcane college ruled paper, not one FP bled through it at all, not even medium and broad nibs, using nibs & inks that would normally bleed through almost anything.
This sugarcane paper is ultra-thin too, much thinner and more translucent than my already thin college ruled binder paper, so thin I can actually read a book with the paper laid on printed pages.

At first I didn't think I was going to like the thin sugarcane stock, once I'd pulled out a sheet and saw how incredibly thin the paper is.
I've been writing on that single sheet all day today, front and back, flourishing all over it and not once did even a heavy line of ink penetrate through to the backside.
I rarely give high praise to any things, unless I am very impressed with first-hand use and even then it takes me a lot to finally decide that something is worthy of praise.
Now that I've had a chance to use it, if only one sheet and for just one day so far, I really like this paper over any other 3-ring binder paper I've ever used in my lifetime.
Leave it to the Egyptians to come up with something that's so ultra thin & see-through, yet so exceptionally fountain pen friendly.
I think it was the Ancient Egyptians that were the original makers of those ultra-thin papyrus papers, used with quills and reeds and ancient ink formulas, that have withstood the tests of time.

This is good stuff, IMHO, I really like it for use with FPs and in my binder.
I really appreciate those here at the FPN that brought it to my attention.
thumbup.gif thumbup.gif
“I view my fountain pens & inks as an artist might view their brushes and paints.
They flow across paper as a brush to canvas, transforming my thoughts into words and my words into art.
There is nothing else like it; the art of writing and the painting of words!”

~Inka~ [Scott]; 5 October, 2009

#15 Ghost Plane

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Posted 26 February 2009 - 12:28

Thanks, Inka! Now that I've seen a fellow B nib user give it a vote of approval, I'll make the trek to Staples today.

#16 gadgetjunky

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Posted 26 February 2009 - 15:34

Thanks for all the info! I almost bought some of these pads when I was in Dallas last week (meant to go back by Staples before I headed out of town but ended up leaving early). I will have to grab some next time that I am back over that way.



#17 Inka

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Posted 26 February 2009 - 18:54

This is my first-ever scan for the FPN.
Just for a better reference, visually that is, I've placed the Staples sugarcane bagasse paper on my old scanner for all to see.
Keep in mind this is a very old Canon scanner, easily capable of copying the watermarks in U.S. paper currency and high-end cotton paper.
Newer scanners I've used seem to be deliberately designed not to do this, so watermarks cannot be duplicated, at least that's been my experience.
That said my scanner "burns" through even the thickest papers and actually copies anything on the backside [even fingerprints on occasion].
So what you see in the "backside" scan isn't nearly as bright as what I see with the naked eye.
What you see isn't bleed-through, just scanner "burn-through", as you'll see there are no spots on the back and no ink actually bled through the page.

Front or "top" of page, 3 different pens & inks [blends]...



Backside of same sheet of paper, no signs of bleed-through anywhere, even though it is very easy to see the writing...



I hope this helps show just how thin yet "fountain pen friendly" this paper really is.
I'm not even seeing the feathering I typically see on other types of paper, especially on cotton stock, using the same 3 pens & inks.
On another note; I wrote this in my every-day cursive hand, same handwriting used since learning it in the second grade.
Today is not a good day for me to write; my writing not as crisp as on most days, probably due to not feeling so hot atm.
I'd also slowed down significantly/deliberately while writing, to allow time for ink to soak in/or through, yet still no bleeding.
I'm really enjoying writing on this paper, as even my broadest and wettest nibs, saturated inks too, write smoothly on it without bleeding through.
thumbup.gif
“I view my fountain pens & inks as an artist might view their brushes and paints.
They flow across paper as a brush to canvas, transforming my thoughts into words and my words into art.
There is nothing else like it; the art of writing and the painting of words!”

~Inka~ [Scott]; 5 October, 2009

#18 Ghost Plane

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Posted 26 February 2009 - 21:23

Nice!

#19 ralphawilson

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Posted 26 February 2009 - 21:38

Nice scan. I wonder if the difference between your old Canon and other scanners is in the scanner software. Maybe other scanner software attempts to keep the shine through to a minimum--just wild speculation.

I have been unable to find this paper in tablets or other non-notebook formats at Staples. I'd like to be able to use it for informal correspondence (at least to my eco-phile friends). But it does come in a spiral-bound notebook (6" x 9.5") with perforations along the edge. That works.
Posted Image "The surface is all you've got. You can only get beyond the surface by working with the surface." ~Richard Avedon

#20 dannyboy

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Posted 26 February 2009 - 21:45

QUOTE (ralphawilson @ Feb 26 2009, 04:38 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Nice scan. I wonder if the difference between your old Canon and other scanners is in the scanner software. Maybe other scanner software attempts to keep the shine through to a minimum--just wild speculation.

I have been unable to find this paper in tablets or other non-notebook formats at Staples. I'd like to be able to use it for informal correspondence (at least to my eco-phile friends). But it does come in a spiral-bound notebook (6" x 9.5") with perforations along the edge. That works.


Thanks for making me aware of what looks like a good paper for eco-friendly fountain pen users! Great review!

#21 Cedar

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Posted 26 February 2009 - 22:32

QUOTE (ralphawilson @ Feb 26 2009, 03:38 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Nice scan. I wonder if the difference between your old Canon and other scanners is in the scanner software. Maybe other scanner software attempts to keep the shine through to a minimum--just wild speculation.

I have been unable to find this paper in tablets or other non-notebook formats at Staples. I'd like to be able to use it for informal correspondence (at least to my eco-phile friends). But it does come in a spiral-bound notebook (6" x 9.5") with perforations along the edge. That works.


You haven't been able to find the loose leaf? The 2 Staples that I go to have displays for most of the notebooks but the loose leaf stock is displayed in the section with the other loose leaf paper.

Cedar


#22 pen2paper

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Posted 26 February 2009 - 22:51

Inka, thanks for your review-clear description of the paper, and in relation to your scan.
same experience with my recent bagasse purchase of the spiralbound.

for those of you inquiring at staples for bagasse or Staples eco-friendly, you may find the different products in different places in the store..check the journal section, composition book section, wirebound section, office supply section, school supply section...as well as the aisle/sale endcaps.
ask the staples staff, but they may not know all of their stock well enough to direct you to the several different products..
the paper has brown lines, and the covered composition books have brown wrapping paper covers-some plain, some with stripes, or vines and flowers.




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#23 Lloyd

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Posted 27 February 2009 - 01:07

Nice handwriting!
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#24 Inka

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Posted 27 February 2009 - 03:44

Thanks for the kind words and the compliments on my handwriting too!
blush.gif vbg.gif

I found my loose-leaf college ruled binder paper with the other paper of similar styles, in the middle of the memo, composition, journal, in with the loose-leaf paper on that isle for @ $1.79 here in Florida.
Mine has 15# weight with 100 pages in each package and all other styles with this paper that I'd seen seem to have the same light-brown lines made using vegetable-and-water based inks, whether wide or college ruled.

If you can't find them in your local Staples, you can order directly from the Staples Website here and often have them delivered for free to your local store, no added shipping costs that way.
I did this when trying to get some new Day-Timer refill sheets for my mint-condition, 20+ year old "vintage" Canadian-made 100% pigskin 7-ring Desk binder [has a black crocodile pattern that's absolutely gorgeous!].
I ordered the Day-Timer Coastlines Desk-size refill packs online yesterday, got a call today from my local Staples store to come and pick them up, no S&H charges added.
Now that's incredibly fast delivery IMO, much faster than online orders I've made when delivered to my home and a great way to shop since it also saves a bundle you'd otherwise have to pay for S&H with most online orders too.
I'd also ordered a new Day-Timer Address and Phone Number set with colored tabs at the same time I ordered the refills, each tab in a different color and that's due to arrive next Monday since it's coming from a different warehouse [I was told].
I want to transfer all the Contact information stored on my computer to this new Day-Timer Address and Phone Number set, just in case of power outages [which we have many of, here in n. Florida, especially during hurricane season].
That will also give me a hard copy of all my important contact information for when we need to evacuate when hurricanes do hit here, or when traveling, something I've been wanting to do for years now and just never got around to it.

In the past few weeks I've been digging through hundreds of boxes trying to find my old pens, many of them vintage fountain pens of all types that I haven't seen in over 20 years.
While I still haven't found my old pens, I have been finding all sorts of old leather binders, leather portfolios, leather notebook binders, leather legal pad covers, all sorts of cool things I'd not seen in decades.
I've not only been re-bitten by the fountain pen bug but I'm going wild discovering all the new papers for my old treasures, like this sugarcane paper for my old binders [thanks to many of you here].

Thanks again, to all, for the suggestions, the reviews, the pictures, all the rest.
This is a great place to be and I'll do my best to help out whenever I can, just as you've been helping me!
notworthy1.gif

Edited by Inka, 27 February 2009 - 03:49.

“I view my fountain pens & inks as an artist might view their brushes and paints.
They flow across paper as a brush to canvas, transforming my thoughts into words and my words into art.
There is nothing else like it; the art of writing and the painting of words!”

~Inka~ [Scott]; 5 October, 2009

#25 ralphawilson

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Posted 27 February 2009 - 18:09

QUOTE (Cedar @ Feb 26 2009, 02:32 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (ralphawilson @ Feb 26 2009, 03:38 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Nice scan. I wonder if the difference between your old Canon and other scanners is in the scanner software. Maybe other scanner software attempts to keep the shine through to a minimum--just wild speculation.

I have been unable to find this paper in tablets or other non-notebook formats at Staples. I'd like to be able to use it for informal correspondence (at least to my eco-phile friends). But it does come in a spiral-bound notebook (6" x 9.5") with perforations along the edge. That works.


You haven't been able to find the loose leaf? The 2 Staples that I go to have displays for most of the notebooks but the loose leaf stock is displayed in the section with the other loose leaf paper.

Cedar


Cedar,

I was hoping to find some without holes! I don't mind writing letters on odd stationery of various kinds, but for some reason it bothers me when there are holes in the paper I'm writing a letter on. (I don't mind getting a letter with holes, mind you--just another strange quirk of mine.)

Just checking, I see they do have pads of the stuff on the Web site, but not at my local Staples.

Ralph

Edited by ralphawilson, 27 February 2009 - 18:14.

Posted Image "The surface is all you've got. You can only get beyond the surface by working with the surface." ~Richard Avedon

#26 Inka

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Posted 27 February 2009 - 19:18

QUOTE (ralphawilson @ Feb 27 2009, 01:09 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
... I was hoping to find some without holes! I don't mind writing letters on odd stationery of various kinds, but for some reason it bothers me when there are holes in the paper I'm writing a letter on. (I don't mind getting a letter with holes, mind you--just another strange quirk of mine.)

Just checking, I see they do have pads of the stuff on the Web site, but not at my local Staples.

Ralph

Hi Ralph,

if you click here, you'll see the writing pads are Delivery Only but if you place the order online you can opt to have them delivered at your local Staples store free of shipping charges.
I'm with you in that I have the same "quirk" as you say, don't care much for sending letters with binder holes, don't much care for even the left margins but that's more do-able IMO.
I bought the binder paper just to have something to test out, before spending $12.99 on the writing pads.
Now that I'm done testing and I'm convinced this paper is very fountain pen friendly I will most likely buy the 12-pack of writing pads now, for the reason you've stated.
You'll see it says "Item qualifies for free delivery to a store near you" and "Expected Delivery 1 Business Day" so if ordered today [Friday] you'll have it next Monday.

You've talked me into it; now I too want a pad of the sugarcane Writing Pads paper, so I can write letters without holes.
cool.gif
“I view my fountain pens & inks as an artist might view their brushes and paints.
They flow across paper as a brush to canvas, transforming my thoughts into words and my words into art.
There is nothing else like it; the art of writing and the painting of words!”

~Inka~ [Scott]; 5 October, 2009

#27 Cedar

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Posted 27 February 2009 - 21:54

QUOTE (Inka @ Feb 27 2009, 01:18 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (ralphawilson @ Feb 27 2009, 01:09 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
... I was hoping to find some without holes! I don't mind writing letters on odd stationery of various kinds, but for some reason it bothers me when there are holes in the paper I'm writing a letter on. (I don't mind getting a letter with holes, mind you--just another strange quirk of mine.)

Just checking, I see they do have pads of the stuff on the Web site, but not at my local Staples.

Ralph

Hi Ralph,

if you click here, you'll see the writing pads are Delivery Only but if you place the order online you can opt to have them delivered at your local Staples store free of shipping charges.
I'm with you in that I have the same "quirk" as you say, don't care much for sending letters with binder holes, don't much care for even the left margins but that's more do-able IMO.
I bought the binder paper just to have something to test out, before spending $12.99 on the writing pads.
Now that I'm done testing and I'm convinced this paper is very fountain pen friendly I will most likely buy the 12-pack of writing pads now, for the reason you've stated.
You'll see it says "Item qualifies for free delivery to a store near you" and "Expected Delivery 1 Business Day" so if ordered today [Friday] you'll have it next Monday.

You've talked me into it; now I too want a pad of the sugarcane Writing Pads paper, so I can write letters without holes.
cool.gif


roflmho.gif Well, it's a good thing you don't mind GETTING letters with holes in the paper because you're very likely to get MORE! Now, I'd rather have holes in the margin of the paper than that perforation line especially if it's at the top! Don't mind getting them but............oh well....we did that part! Weird quirks of fountain pen people! Maybe we're just quirky in the first place using fountain pens.

I certainly would like this paper to be available in a no line, no holes, no perforation version. I asked but no luck.

Does anyone know how this became referred to as "bagasse" paper? Nowhere that I can find on the package does it say "bagasse". What does bagasse mean, anyway? Maybe it means "paper for crazy people" in Egyptian? bunny01.gif

Cedar



#28 Inka

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Posted 27 February 2009 - 22:24

QUOTE (Cedar @ Feb 27 2009, 04:54 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Does anyone know how this became referred to as "bagasse" paper? Nowhere that I can find on the package does it say "bagasse". What does bagasse mean, anyway? Maybe it means "paper for crazy people" in Egyptian? bunny01.gif

Cedar


roflmho.gif
Cracked me up about the quirks we quirky FPs users have.
No doubt about it, I admit to being quirky.

Bagasse; same here, looked all over the package and never did see this referenced.
I did, however, find it listed in Wikipedia here, along with Blue Agave Bagasse.
Too funny, the idea of making paper from an Agave cactus after brewing up some Tequila...
Hmmm, Tequila cactus paper; I'm not a drinker really but that I'd like to try too.
cool.gif

Oops, wrong Link to Wiki.
Just fixed it.

Edited by Inka, 27 February 2009 - 22:29.

“I view my fountain pens & inks as an artist might view their brushes and paints.
They flow across paper as a brush to canvas, transforming my thoughts into words and my words into art.
There is nothing else like it; the art of writing and the painting of words!”

~Inka~ [Scott]; 5 October, 2009

#29 DixieAmazon

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Posted 27 February 2009 - 22:25

It is the fibrous waste left over from sugarcane after it has been processed.
Dennise

The faintest ink is more powerful than the strongest memory.

-- Old Chinese Proverb


#30 pen2paper

pen2paper

    arty o the irst art

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Posted 27 February 2009 - 23:56

oh, just thought of something you may want to consider in your eco-friendly selection..
the smaller wire-bound has college ruled lines..the others are wide ruled lines..


Posted Image~Hi! fountain pen enthusiast here~