hi-tec-c love

I have a thing for pens. I have a thing for coloured pens. I have a thing for almost all things Japanese. I have been in love with the Pilot Hi-Tec-C since I first adopted one from a stationary store in Praha during the Summer of 2001. At the time I didn’t know where to find them here in the States. I forgot about Kinokuniya for a spell. Whenever E took a business trip abroad I would beg for a Hi-Tec-C if he could.

Today, I don’t have to worry at all. Not only is my favourite bookstore steps from my subway stop, the ever so awesome JetPens will deliver them to my door(man).

Pilot Hi-Tec-C collection Click the image to go to flickr to see it biggered. This is my shrinking Hi-Tec-C collection. Why is it shrinking if I love these pens so much? I’m trying to clean up my pen stash and I would love to buy a set to restart my collection. I have that pile of Signo Bits that Melanie sent me a while back as well as my own collection I need to use up as well. My pen drawer is full.

Why do I like the Hi-Tec-C? They write a very smooth line from the 0.5mm tip down to the 0.25mm. The pen feels good in my hand and my temperamental wrists do not quickly feel fatigue or cramping. I have been in love with the blue-black from the beginning; there is something about the colours that appeal to me. The ink doesn’t run out super fast, but runs out a little after I expect it to. I have three Coleto 2-up bodies which I like as well but don’t use as much because the body isn’t the same and causes me some frustration after holding and writing with it for a few hours and they seem to run out a bit faster than I find useful.

Kata emailed me the other day that JetPens was offering a free Hello Kitty Limited Edition Hi-Tec-C Pen if you were willing to write a review of the pen. I’m sad that I don’t have a better photo of my pen, the randomly selected Hello Kitty that perches atop my clear blue pen is purple which is just absolutely perfect for me and she and the pen make me very happy. I took about a trillion photos of it this morning and I just can’t figure out how to get the right angle of the pen cap, my camera, and some lighting. I’ll upload a photo of her when I can. So, is this a sponsored post? Did they influence me to write only good things about their company and the pen? NO. I love and respect the offerings JetPens has, and that they held a Penefit which I sadly couldn’t get my arse in gear for makes me all the happier to promote a great business that provides me with the pens I love without taking a very long flight or breaking the bank. That said, if Tokyu Hands started an online shop with English that shipped here, I’d not be able to save any money.

pics

Ok, I’m copping out on what I wanted to write because I caught a cold and an exponentially growing to-do list.

Without further ado, I’m pleased to announce that the site that E and I have been neglecting for the past few years has a new look.

penny-and-eli header

Please feel free to go browse around penny and eli and look at our photos. In the coming weeks and months we’ll add in more content and functionality. There are only a few photos up there now. What will be in store in the future? Our imaginations are the limit, but for the photos, I know that an RSS feed and the ability for me to easily lazily post photos are in the pipe line.

Also, in time, I’ll finally clean up some of the dead image links floating around here.

What does this mean for my flickr account? I won’t post as much there in the future. Does that mean I’m being anti-social? No. I just don’t want to keep paying for something I don’t really need.

a brief glimpse

Despite a deep love of calendars, sometimes my scheduling is a little challenged. I realized last night was the last possible moment for me to finally bite the bullet and freshly reinstalling tapuach (my main laptop). It’s something I’ve been talking about doing for years now. So that’s what I’m finishing up today and the nice post I wanted to write is not yet written.

flickr memeThere’s a handwriting meme floating around that I have enjoyed viewing others participation in. Since most of you only read my writing typed, I thought I’d share it with you. It’s only a brief glimpse at my handwriting which can change drastically as mood, paper, or pen can influence. If you’d like to take part, consider yourself tagged. If you click through to the flickr photo you can see the Rules there.

שׁבּת שׁלום

the blank page

As my two long-time readers know, I keep a daily work-log book to track all those random things that happen throughout my day that I need to record in one way or another. I’ve been going through several different types in an attempt to find what works best for me.

For the past several volumes, I’ve been back on my Moleskine kick because composition books, while affordable and not likely to induce the “oh no! i just bought this pricey notebook and i’m going to write in it and ruin it” syndrome, were just too large as I attempt to slim down my everyday bag.

My first several volumes were large squared notebooks, with a hard cover. But they are slightly heavy and the large page count meant I was schlepping around information that could be put away in storage long before I finished the book.

On December first, I started with a large squared cahier.

Why all the squares? They appeal to my wannabe-engineering brain and let me “sketch”. The squares help me keep lists neat and provide ready made check boxes for when I actually complete something.

This cahier held up well during the month, except it fit exactly December within its pages. I don’t write important things (the work log stuff) on the tear-away pages so I was only using the 64 pages that are sewn in. The remaining 16 were filled with lists and things that while important and useful, don’t need to be retained in my document management environment.

I liked that it fit a little bit of information and was thing and light, but I worry it’s not enough. While most of my life can be easily filed on a monthly basis I’m not sure I really want to have 12 or more of these each year. That December was a quiet month makes me worried that I won’t have enough pages in the busier times.

So I went to Strand to pick up some Large Ruled Volants or so I thought. This small purchase was made after a busy morning at the office and after the completion of several other errands, so I was hungry and tired. I grabbed a package that was within a bunch of Ruled notebooks and checked out. It was only on the train home that I discovered I was not the happy owner of Ruled Volants… no no. I had purchased Blank Volants.

The last time I tried a blank page journal (several years ago) did not result in success. It was frustrating and stressful.

I decided however, to give this a go. There aren’t squared Volants, so I took a blank tear-away page from my cahier and set to work using it for 2009.

I’m surprised to say that I’m happy.

The notes and thoughts are flowing freely and I am letting myself scribble and annotate with a freedom I’ve not had recently. I guess the rigidness of the squares was stifling for my creativity and thoughts. I have a sheet which I can use to provide both lines and squares. But mostly I’m just writing.

I’ll try to update this post with a photo of my new work-log and an example of my life in a squared one, but right now I’d have to mangle and render anonymous so much of the writing to make it something I’m comfortable posting that I need to write up a false page or two.

Stay tuned for next week when I give a shout-out for a friend’s business. In this new year, I hope to do this every few weeks featuring another enterprise each time. My friends are very creative, clever, talented and just plain amazing and I want you to know about their work too.

שׁבּת שׁלום

pen to paper

Lamy Safari, Lime XF Nib I have a known obsession with office supplies. I’ve tried to curb this habit due to budgetary and storage constraints. I’m involved with a group in Ravelry called Pen Fetish Crafters and they can be the most enabling group of persons I know. I mostly avoid the temptations they place infront of me, but having two local shops within steps of my normal routes, I don’t always do well. That Strand sells Moleskine® notebooks at slightly lower prices and not one but two but three muji shops within reach, I am hopeless to resist.

So what do I plan to do with these pens and paper which seem to multiply with a voracity which may give a bunny or a sock yarn stash run for its money?

The same thing I’ve been doing, but more of it. I’m writing more letters and cards. I’m writing more in my journal and trying to carve time to work on my NaNoWriMo 2008 idea. I’m going to try to do better at drafting posts by hand first and writing down more things in my work log journals. (I confess there was only a short line in my journal about this post before I put fingers to keyboard.)

Why? I need to slow down and think through my thoughts and words before I blurt them out. I need to reconnect with process. I type very quickly and often don’t think about what is being written and then have a difficult time editing because I still read what is in my head not what is written on screen or paper. That doesn’t happen when I write by hand, at least not as often.

So much of life today seems to be the same desire that has existed for years, to do everything faster and more efficiently — because we can. I’m no longer sure that we should and I’m trying not to do everything at a breakneck pace and I’m beginning to see an improvement beyond what I previously thought was acceptable quality of my work.

I also find that when writing by hand I doodle and that leads to unskilled sketching and that opens up creative juices that lay dormant when I sit and type for hours on end. I am practising calligraphy not so much to be very skilled at it but to improve my handwriting in general and because it is something I enjoyed when I was a child.

In a pathetic attempt not to keep this a soliloquy: are you trying to slow down or find balance this year? Are you trying to return to paper or pencil? What’s your favourite pen or ink colour?