InCoWriMo2017

Last Day for InCoWriMo2017!

Today is the last day of February, and therefore, the last day of InCoWriMo2017.  I can’t claim a full victory, but I think I can do half a lap.  I managed to get out 22 pieces of correspondence, 19 of which went in the mail, and three of which were hand delivered.  I wrote to complete strangers through the InCoWriMo website, the Bullet Journal Pen Pal Group on Facebook, and Instagram.  I sent a few letters to friends, and family members received birthday cards.  Joe was not only the recipient of a Valentine’s Day card, I also made him a card with one of my new dies.

Ok, so before I show you this new die, let me say this.  This die lead me to a internet ordering freeze.  I have no idea what I was thinking buying this die, other than it was on the HSN 60% off partial craft day show, and I just got sucked in my the sale.  But, in truth, while it is super cute, I have very little use for it, and it was only $10 off, not 60%.  I just get so entranced when I’m watching the HSN crafters, and I get lured in by the sales pitch person who ooo’s and aaahh’s.  Anyway, after this purchase, I called Halt! And, I haven’t ordered anything other than a replacement nib for my dip pen in two weeks.  Yippee for me!  Can I just tell you how much money I have saved?  You don’t know how much you’re spending until you’re not spending I guess.

Anyway, here is said die:

These dies, one an owl, one a fox, are part of the Sissix Fold-Along Card series.  You place the die on the fold, there’s no cutting edge on the fold, though, and what happens is you get the gatefold card, shaped like the owl or the fox, with a tab to slip the sentiment cut out in.  So cute, right?  But, all of the stamp sentiments are really lovey dovey, and I would only make cards with that mush for my husband, and how many owl and fox cards can I make him?  So, I made him the fox card, and he was like, yeah, thanks, because he’s just not into those kinds of things.

As you can see, the owl went out as part of InCoWriMo.  That insert card is a separate die, so that’s nice, but if you want to mat the owl in anyway, you have to freehand cut, or cut another base, and cut that out to mat whatever part of the card you want, like those inside panels.  The bottom line is, these dies are cutie patootie, but the odds of me using them again . . . slim.  There are a few really usable stamps in the owl set though – with feathers and such, so I think I will get some use out of those.  The fox is really Valentine’s Day-ish, but whatever.

Before these dies, I also bought more Art Impressions Watercolor Stamps – as part of the crazy online ordering phase.  I would say to myself, it’s just a rubber stamp, but then there’s two stamps, then three.  It all just adds up.

These are the cards I made with my new stamp set, the covered bridge.  The reason I bought this stamp set was because it’s a mini set, so it’s cheaper than the large set, and it came with 2 different trees, and a kind of flower/leaf stamp – foliage is always good, and helpful for different scenes.  I think I’ve talked about these water color stamps before, but if I haven’t, just briefly what you do is color the main image with a water soluble marker.  Once the image is stamped, you pull the color out of the stamped image with a slightly damp brush.  Then, you do the same with the rest of the images – so for the trees, I used a brown marker for the trunk, and a green marker for the top – and that was it.  Anyway, they definitely have a handmade feel to them, because I haven’t quite mastered how to do a textured/weathered look with watercolor.  Anyway, I do love these stamps, and when the buying freeze is over . . . no, not unless I need them, yup.

In any event, I’m glad that my ordering freeze came at the same time as my fountain pen frenzy.  I have my two pens, the two Metropolitans, one in a fine nib, and one in medium, and I love them both.  And, if I were still in ordering anything mode, I’d probably have ordered up a half dozen other pens and ink upon ink, but instead, I’m learning what I like about the pen, I’m thinking more cautiously about my next pen, and I’m not at all in a hurry to do anything.  Although, I really really do want this ink.  The buying freeze comes to an end on 3/8, because that’s the next HSN marathon craft day, and it’s just unreasonable think I won’t order something.  So, the ban will come off, and I will dust off my paypal account, and I will try to take everything I’ve learned in the last two long weeks of purchasing diet, and only buy ONE THING.  Yes, yes.

So, in other news, I totally changed up my shawl for the MKAL, and I hate it.  More on that tomorrow.

And, I’m all settled into my Foxy Fix and I hate that too.  More on that later, too.  But, just so I don’t cause any kind of controversy about Foxy Fix, I love the notebook – I just don’t love the size.  The size was a mistake.  But, that’ll probably be the Thursday or Fridays topic.

Laters!

 

 

And So It Begins – Bring On InCoWriMo 2017, and . . . a New Obsession, the Fountain Pen

Look who’s ready for InCoWriMo 2017, or to translate that mouthful of an acronym, International Correspondence Writing Month.  I have six handmade cards and envelopes ready to go, and I have my Flow magazine on hand to decorate the rest.  After a trip to the post office this morning, and a very helpful Postal Person, I ended up putting Letters 1 and 2 in the mail so I don’t have to go back tomorrow.   Yep, I’m cheating already I guess, but I’m looking at the month as a whole, because I doubt I’m going to actually post letters on the weekend – the mailperson doesn’t always come on Saturday, and if it’s snowing, I’m not walking the half mile to the mailbox. And, there are Sundays when lets face it, getting dressed means I change from the pj’s I slept into clean pj’s or sweats.  And, I wonder why I’ve gained weight?  Sheesh.  Anyway, my point is, I’m playing by Wendy’s rules, since it’s all informal anyway, I’m going to do the best I can to mail out 28 letters in what would be nearly a daily fashion.  But, there’s no way I’m standing at the post office 2 days in row to have a letter weighed when I’m already there, and it’s ready to go.  I also showed the Postal Person my unfinished letters, and had her give me some educated guesses about the postage.  The bottom line is, the rest of the handmades are going to be U.S. bound, because sending them overseas will be ridiculously eexpensive, and I’m going to rethink my notecards.

I bought these notecards because a. they were on sale, of course, and b. I used them to accompany swaps.  These notecards are so stinkin’ cute, but did you know that because of their small size, they’re actually nearly twice the postage?!  They require special care, hand cancelling I suppose.  I’m thinking I may just stick the cards in regular envelopes.  We’ll see.

But, what’s that other item in the photo?  Not the Flow Magazine, not the carefully crafted handmade cards, no, no – that other thing.

That would be a fountain pen.

A Pilot Metropolitan Retro Pop.  It is totally impossible to follow InCoWriMo on Instagram, and not be sucked in by pen, ink and stationary posts as well.  Based on my misconceptions, I had never really considered a fountain pen.  First, I originally thought that fountain pens were just for calligraphy, that the fancy nib was chiseled for classical, traditional calligraphy.  Wrong, totally wrong in fact.  There are fountain pens that are somewhat designed for calligraphy, they have an stub italic nib (lingo, lingo – see how much I’ve learned!) or a flex nibs.  I thought about going that route, but the bottom line is, calligraphy is best with a dip pen (or if you’re into brush lettering, a brush), and I’m already in the wheelhouse, and all of the reviews I read of the affordable caliigraphy pens were meh.

Then, I thought they were too expensive.  Well, that depends – my pen was $13, and there are fountain pens that are even cheaper.  So, $13 compared to a disposable Bic is comparatively expensive, but it’s so inexpensive when you compare it to this – a $65,000.00 pen – crazy right?

The bottomline is, a fountain pen can be for everyone and anyone, and it can be used as your every day pen.  The benefits are basically that you only have to apply very little pressure to the page to get your ink to flow, if you have a good pen, you’ll have a perfectly smooth line, and if you take care of it, you can use it forever, by refilling your ink with cartridge refills or an ink converter (a doohickey that sucks ink out of a bottle).  A good pen goes a long way.

Anyway, placing my first foot into the fountain pen rabbit hole, I did some research.  I started with Goulet Pen Company, because they were doing a giveaway in conjunction with Boho Berry, a bullet journaler who I follow, and I watched their series Fountain Pens 101.  This pen was one of their recommendations for starter pens.  Then, I went on youtube, and watched a few reviews, and for the most part, all of the reviewers were surprised at how good a pen this is for the price.  So, I bought the pen along with a box of refills.  With Amazon prime, it was less than $20.  I did feel guilty, though, that I didn’t give my business to Goulet Pens after I sucked up all of their free knowledge, but it totally came down to the free two day shipping.  But, I suspect that it won’t be long before I buy something from them, be it a converter, or ink, or  . . . another pen perhaps?

Because I do love this pen.  It’s a fine nib, and because Pilot is a Japanese brand, and the Japanese nibs are generally thinner than American nibs, it writes like an extra fine:

As you can see, it’s a small enough nib to get in the little grid boxes, but you can go bigger and still get a lovely smooth line.  And, even though it is a fine nib, it’s not so fine that you even come close to feeling like you’re scratching the paper, or that you’re digging a hole in your journal or planner or whatever.  However, I think I’d like a medium nib . . . so that could happen.

Also, now that I’ve used black ink, I may have gone into Dick Blick’s today and bought blue ink.  And while I was there, I really really wanted to buy the violet ink, but couldn’t justify it at this point because that would mean I couldn’t use my pen at work, as I have been, because what lawyer writes in pink ink?  Legally Blonde is a mythological movie my friends.  Blue or black.  So, that means I really need another pen for my violet ink, right?

Anyway, this is how it begins.  Now, I’m trying to convince Joe that he needs a fountain pen – so that we can be in it together.  I don’t think it’s going to work, but he is mildly intrigued.

So, I usually write about knitting on Wednesday’s, and I link up with the Yarn Along.  This week, though, I’m pretty much where I was last week, although now I’m working on a sleeve.  The mystery knitalong doesn’t start until tomorrow, so I’ll have something yarny to report on Friday.  Will it be a good mystery, or bad mystery?

Stay tuned!