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  1. I saw a thread on not participating in InCoWriMo, but I am participating. I thought it fair to hear from our side. I need reasons to use my pens, and letters are my primary way. I have pen pals. I am using the Travelers Notebook calendar insert Weekly and Memo. I have succeeded at InCoWriMo in 2013 and 2019. I hope to succeed like I did last year. I wrote to pen pals, and people on an InCoWriMo list. I also wrote to some companies. When I wrote to Reeses, telling them about my love of their peanut butter cups, and a few of their other candy bars, I got a reply letter. It included coupons! I wrote to a museum in 2013 praising the experience but sorry the pressed penny machine did not work. They sent a reply that included pressed pennies. I am not promising you get these replies, because others did not send any reply. But that is part of the adventure of letter writing. I will try to succeed at InCoWriMo this year, and be a full participant for 2 years in a row. So, are you participating in InCoWriMo? Tell us why.
  2. How do you store your pen spare parts, ink converters, etc.? My wife finally managed to get me to clean up some of my mess, ahead of friends visiting (which is quite rare for us). I have boxes of pen spare parts, standalone or replacement nibs and nib units, dip pen handles and nibs, ink cartridges and converters, tools (such as tiny wrenches) for pen maintenance, water brush pens, a stamping kit to produce an outline image on swatch cards, makeup applicators for swabbing ink, display stands for (photographing) swatch cards, surplus Chinese pens, dedicated cheap pens for holding certain iron-gall inks and pigment inks so that they're always on the ready, etc. All of which, until recently, used to sit in a precarious pile (or ‘tower’) on one of the unused dining chairs, and it's hard to either move them or hide them away from sight all at once. Just as well that I also have a hoard of ‘spare’ storage boxes, document trays, etc. This one proved suitable beyond my expectations, even though of course it couldn't hold all of that type of bits and bobs; I still have dozens of new Sailor, Platinum, and Pilot converters, as well as retail boxes of ink cartridges and new surplus (not just Chinese, but also Japanese and European) fountain pens filling up mini-crates and crammed into a huge drawer elsewhere. Take a guess how much stuff it holds for me! This is not nearly the “all laid out” view, when there are stacks and layers inside the smaller boxes themselves: All of the plastic boxes shown were bought in Daiso, with the exception of this one:
  3. My favorite store for customized notecards and envelope stamps(but sadly, not letter sheets- I have been bereft since my local spot closed fifteen years ago and William Arthur was bought by Crane, making it no longer the slightly-less-expensive-Crane-alternative) has long been expressionery.com. I have created and saved a number of designs over the years, and I just order more of the exact same ones when I run out, as long as they are still available. I recently decided I needed to get some more fold-over notes and tried to go to the webpage. I have been unable to access the site through either Safari or Firefox. I have tried private browsing with no luck. I've tried for the last month and have gotten no where, though Retailmenot still seems to be offering coupons as if the store is still around. I think they were always an etailer without a bricks and mortar presence. Does anyone know if they are still in business? If they aren't I'm not sure where to shop, and I would also be sad. They had some lovely and understated designs that I was able to tweak just the right amount, and the papers played well with most of my pens. Thanks!
  4. Hello all, I often print postage labels for small packages from the US Postal Service website and as I was perusing the area where you can purchase stamps, I came upon this very nice-looking souvenir sheet called "Classics Forever". It's a sheet of six stamps commemorating US postage and "in appreciation of stamp collectors and philatelists everywhere". They feature Washington, Franklin and Lincoln in various styles as based on postage from the mid-19th century. They are very handsome stamps. The mediocre cellphone pics just don't do them justice. What really strikes me is that they are printed with the intaglio method as with the originals (and as with paper currency). It's a method not often used with your regular run-of-the-press stamps: a metal plate is engraved with an image. It is inked up and then wiped clean. This leaves ink only inside the grooves of the line. Paper is then pressed hard against the plate and the ink from the grooves is transferred to it. The method produces a fine line and a slightly textured surface as with freshly printed money. The overall effect is elegant. Artistic. They make your letters look particularly classy and old-timey. (Especially when used on C6 envelopes like those made by Clairefontaine.) You can just about see the raised surfaces on the stamps as the light reflects off of it in the following detail. Interestingly, in the last picture, you can see further evidence of the intaglio method as one peels off the stamps to see the underlying backing. It seems that the whole sheet - stamps, backing and all - were printed in this manner as reflected light reveals the embossed effect. Despite their premium look and feel, and worthiness of discerning collectors (IMHO), these six stamps are priced at the going rate (US$ 0.49 each as I write this). They are "forever" stamps and can be used as 1st-class postage despite any future fluctuations in rates. One does have to order it from the website and pay for delivery, however. It doesn't seem to be available at Post Offices, very unfortunately. Was this topic the first ever stamp review on the FPN? Regards, Rich I have no affiliation with the USPS. I have purchased these stamps as would have anyone else. (In fact, I bought two sheets: one to use and one to just keep wrapped up and perhaps frame one day!) Neither was I compensated in any way.
  5. I just completed a very nice purchase of a Mont Blanc 146 with a man who sent me the Pen from Poland. The stamps are really wonderfully weird, The flower stamp at the top is pretty normal, but what is the meaning of the man with the square white rectangle in from of his face with black holes for eyes? Is this an homage to bureaucracy, (notice the stamper on the right and the phone on the left). Is he anonymous? Anyone from Poland (or any stamp enthusiast) have a story for this intriguing stamp? The Lone Customs Inspector? Thanks. http://i1005.photobucket.com/albums/af174/fabienne301/photo_zpse65a920e.jpg





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