Thursday, December 23, 2010

What to do until GouletPens.com comes back up....

Rachel and I decided to shut down GouletPens.com entirely from December 23rd through December 31st. The entire website will be unavailable during this time and we will be unable to accept any orders during this 8-day period. It's crazy, I know, but there are several good reasons we have for doing it:
  1. Improving functionality- we're implementing several new features on GouletPens.com that require a major infrastructure rebuild and the site would be very hacked-up if we left it up. Imagine eating in a restaurant while it's undergoing major renovations! It's going to be much less confusing to simply take the site down, make the fixes, and put it back up.
  2. Physical Inventory- Rachel and I need to do an inventory of everything, which is no small task at this point! We need to get everything straight before the first of the year for accounting and taxes and all that fun stuff.
  3. Taking a break- Rachel and I are a mom and pop business (sometimes my parents help fill ink samples and things like that, too), and we've been doing everything ourselves. We love doing it all, and it's been great fun in 2010, but we flat out need a break.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Write Time at 9: December 21st, 2010 (contest winners!)

Join us live every Tuesday night at 9pm EST for Write Time at 9! We talk pens, paper, ink, and random other things (writing related usually).




Link to Ustream for the vid.

A special thanks to everyone who participated in the Ink Nouveau Giveaway Contest. It was a lot of fun and you've all given me a lot of insight about what I need to focus on for 2011. I'm going to take the next couple of weeks to really process everything and I'll let you know what I think.

Now for the part you want to hear!

Ink Nouveau contest winners:

daghdha: Noodler's Clear Flex Pen
Casey: Noodler's Red/Green Flex Pen
Gentian: Noodler's Black Swan
inksmears:  J. Herbin 1670
Greg (F): Rhodia ePure
Nathaniel: Noodler's Ebonite Flex Pen

We'll be emailing all of the winners as well, just in case you don't remember the alias you put! If you were really looking forward to winning, don't worry. There will be more contests to come! This was a 'practice run' for me, and I think I'm getting the hang of this whole 'giving cool stuff away to people' thing ;) Gentian was our blog winner and has some awesome artwork, you have to check it out!

January Ink Drop

The theme for January is 'Steadfast Resolutions'. What do you think it means?

January's drop is going to be mailed out on the 3rd of the month. USPS is closed on the first b/c of New Years Day, and the 2nd is a Sunday.

Thanks to everyone who came to the Write Time broadcast this week. I know everyone's schedules are crazy this week what with family and traveling and general running around, so thanks for taking the time to make us a part of your life. Next week's broadcast is canceled, see you on January 4th!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The final Write Time of 2010, tonight

Tonight's going to be the final Write Time at 9 broadcast for 2010. Tune in live at 9pm EST to chat with us about:
  • The winners of the Ink Nouveau Giveaway Contest and some of the survey results
  • GouletPens.com going down for 8 days/ideas for changes to the site
  • Quo Vadis Habana paper change
  • Brian and Rachel reflect on 2010
  • Special Write Time prize given live during the broadcast
Rachel and I are going to be taking the last week of the year to spend time together as a family and update GouletPens.com, so there will be no Write Time next week. Join us for the last broadcast of the year. I'll be sure not to eat any apples or popcorn this time too ;) haha! Any hey, maybe our little furry friend will show up again and liven things up!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Explaining the new Habana paper

I woke up the other morning to find a post on Quo Vadis blog about coming changes to the paper in the beloved Quo Vadis Habanas. Currently, they contain Clairefontaine 90g smooth white paper, but it will be changing very soon to 85g off-white. This caught a lot of us off-guard and is causing a bit of an uproar for hardcore Habana enthusiasts. The large lined Habana is my favorite journal in existence, and the change comes as a surprise to me, and my immediate reaction was fear of losing a great journal. I immediately called Exaclair to find out what in the world is going on.

Ink Nouveau Giveaway Contest is Closed!

The first Ink Nouveau giveaway contest is closed. I must say, it was more of a success than I had originally anticipated! Thank you to everyone who participated in the survey, you've helped to give me a great insight into what I need to do to help propel Ink Nouveau moving forward.

I'm going to announce the official winners of the prizes live during our final 2010 Write Time at 9 broadcast at 9pm EST this Tuesday, December 21st. And since we always do a giveaway live during our Write Time broadcast, we're going to make it a special one to go out with a bang for 2010. If you'll miss it, don't worry. I'll post the winners Wed. morning with the recorded Write Time video, and I'll be emailing all 6 winners just to make sure you get what you earned ;)

I must say I'm quite encouraged by everyone's responses to the survey, particularly the 'free-form' comments made. Many of you gave me tremendous ideas that I will really need to think about, and I thank all of you for your incredible responses. I'm going to be thinking long and hard over the next several weeks about how I can improve Ink Nouveau even more. Rachel and I will be taking it slow here towards the end of the year, refreshing ourselves to really make 2011 a year like no other.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Ink Nouveau Giveaway Contest Begins!

A Giveaway of Epic Proportions!

***The contest has officially closed as of 12:00am December 20th, 2010. 
Today launches the beginning of a 4-day entry into the first ever Ink Nouveau giveaway contest. We're giving away some awesome prizes in exchange for you sharing some information with us about what you like in the way of pens and inks, and following us through Twitter, Facebook, being a member on the Fountain Pen Network, or through sharing your writing-related blog.


Here is the survey to enter yourself into the contest!

Please be sure to complete the entire survey and only enter once. You'll have multiple chances to win based on the rules laid out below. The contest begins right now, and ends on Sunday (12/19) at 11:59pm EST. Enter anytime between now and then.

"How do I enter?"
 
It's pretty straightforward:
  • Enter in the contest by answering a short (under 5 minute) survey about your writing preferences. The survey link is posted above.
  • Tweet it, blog it, Facebook it, share it any way you can.
That's it! That's all you have to do. Just enter once and you'll have the chance to win any of these 6 awesome prizes:

1) Noodler's Clear Demonstrator Flex Nib Piston Fill Fountain Pen


2) Noodler's December 25th (red/green) Flex Nib Piston Fill Fountain Pen


3) Noodler's Black Swan in Australian Roses bottled fountain pen ink, 3 ounces


4) J. Herbin Rouge Hematite 1670 Anniversary Ink (limited edition), 50ml


5) Rhodia ePure real leather notebook (not available in the US!), 120 pages of 100g white paper,  leatherette cover, size is 10.5cm x 14cm **Update, I've been corrected that this is not a real leather cover, I was mistaken! I apologize for the mistake, I had no intention of misleading, forgive me! It's still a real nice notebook!


6) *Bonus* Never before seen Noodler's mottled green ebonite aerometric/eyedropper flex-nib pen!! This pen isn't even regularly offered. Nathan from Noodler's put a flex nib from the piston pens on an ebonite pen!! You can't buy this pen anywhere.



The winners will be announced live during our final 2010 Write Time at 9 broadcast on Tuesday night (12/21 between 9-10pm EST), and posted up on Ink Nouveau Wednesday morning (12/22).

"How can I have the best chance of winning a prize?"

There will be 6 different winners, to give the best chance for everyone to win a prize. Everyone will have to do the survey to enter, and here's how we're going to select the winners:
  • 1 winner will be someone who 'likes' the Goulet Pen Company on Facebook
  • 1 winner will be a follower of GouletPens on Twitter
  • 1 winner will be a member of the Fountain Pen Network
  • 1 winner will be a fellow writing enthusiast blogger
  • 2 winners will be chosen from all survey entries (nothing extra required)
Everyone has a chance to win, just by filling out the survey. But if you like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, are a member of FPN, and have a writing blog, you'll have 6 chances to win! The choice of prizes will be assigned at random to the 6 winners. This contest is open to US and international fans (as long as the USPS ships to your country).

"Why a Contest?"

Who cares, it's free stuff! Haha, no seriously, we have two reasons for running this contest:
  1. To thank you for your participation and support on Ink Nouveau and GouletPens.com  
  2. To encourage you to be more active in what we do and invite others to join so that we can continue doing it (and do it more/better!)
I put a lot of work into Ink Nouveau, at least a couple of hours every day. It's quite a commitment and I know you all really appreciate it. I want my efforts to be as worthwhile to as many people as possible, so this contest is really an effort to try to encourage those of your who lurk the blog to become more involved by either subscribing to RSS or Twitter or Facebook, and those of you that are already hardcore fans to spread the word and share it with your friends. The more activity and involvement I get from all of you, the more relevant and interesting stuff I can post. It's a win for everyone!

So go ahead and start spreading the word that this Thursday through Sunday is time for free stuff at Ink Nouveau! All of the cool-looking buttons to share this post are right here at the bottom of the post! What do you think? Would you like to win any of these prizes? Post any questions about the contest in the comments below...

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Noodler's Flex Nib Release 12/17 at noon EST!

The next batch of Noodler's Flex Nib Pens are in, and we'll be listing them for sale at 12 noon (EST) tomorrow (Friday, December 17th), right here at GouletPens.com.

Sign up on the product page to be notified by email as soon as they're available. It's best to load up your shopping cart with other items first before noon, then checkout as close after we list them as possible. The items in your cart aren't reserved, it's whoever places their order that gets the goods!

Same as the last batch, there's no 'official' limit on how many you can get, just try to be reasonable to allow the most number of your fellow writing enthusiasts to get them as possible. Once again there are a lot of people on the list and we expect them to go fast. This will be the last batch that we will have at GouletPens.com until 2011 (remember, we're shutting down our site on the 23rd through the 31st!).

We will be offering both the red/green and clear color flex nib pens, but we have considerably more red/green ones than clear ones. I suspect the clear will go fastest. More colors are going to be available in 2011, but these are the only two available for the time being. We're having some pretty gnarly weather here in Virginia, so it's really pushing it to try to get anything you order from this point to be delivered before Christmas. I would say don't count on it, but if you really need it right away, just make note of it in your order comments before you place your order and we'll ship to you as quickly as we can.

Don't forget, too, that the Ink Nouveau Giveaway is going on right now! Click here to see how to enter and have a chance at 6 great prizes (including Noodler's Flex Pens).

Pelikan Maki-e Fireworks

Friday: Pen Stuff


Don't forget that the Ink Nouveau Giveaway is going on right now! Click here to see how to enter and have a chance at 6 great prizes. 

It's always nice to drool! This is a pen that most of us can't hope to afford, but we can still appreciate the artistry. It's the new Pelikan Maki-e Fireworks.


The Pelikan 'Fireworks' Maki-e Fountain Pen

The Pelikan Maki-e Fireworks combines the drama of fireworks - brilliant colors and thrilling shapes - with the elegance of the Kaga Togidashi Maki-e.

Fireworks are a major cultural attraction in Japan where approximately 500 shows occur annually. Although upward of 20,000 fireworks are used per display, they fall into just two main categories: Kiku-mono and Botan-mono. The first of these, Kiku-mono, refers to the glorious 'chrysanthemum type' in which sparks leave a descending trail of sparks behind them, disappearing gradually into the inky black sky. Botan-mono - the 'peony type' - do not leave these trails, but explode in a massive and brilliant flash.*

This exquisite Maki-e depicts the experience of the Japanese firework display in its rendering of an orange Kiku-mono (peony) on the cap and multiple Botan-mono (chysanthemums) along the length of the barrel. Premier quality mother-of-pearl shellwork is inlaid, as is sumptuous gold. The Pelikan logo is on the crown, along with the limited edition number and the artist's signature, which is etched by hand using the classic Maki-e technique.




The 'Fireworks' Maki-e fountain pen is strictly limited to only 88 pieces worldwide. Each individual pen is encased in a spectacularly beautiful Paulownia wood pen box and reflects the marriage of Pelikan technology with traditional Japanese craftsmanship.
 

Orders for Maki-e Firework pens received now will be custom-made, with an estimated delivery of early February 2011.



These pens aren't cheap, that's for sure. They're listing for $3,600, which I may note is more than my wife's Honda Accord that I hit with our Aztek in our driveway that exciting day when I met the UPS Mac truck for our DC Pen Show delivery (remember that?).

What do you think? Nice, right?

Write Time at 9: December 14th, 2010

Join us live every Tuesday night at 9pm EST for Write Time at 9! We talk pens, paper, ink, and random other things (writing related usually).




Link to Ustream for the vid, just over an hour long.

This week was a 'laid back' program. Rachel and I have been totally killing ourselves lately, so we wanted to relax. We made some popcorn and just hung out as we talked about Noodler's flex nib pens, Brian G pens, new ink brands to carry, GouletPens.com updates, shipping costs, and all kinds of random stuff. Then a tiny field mouse showed up and freaked Rachel out! I spent the end of the broadcast hunting it down, and 5 minutes after the broadcast ended I caught it and released it back into the wild ;)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Write Time Topics 12/14/10

This week's Write Time at 9 will be fairly laid back. If you're just hanging out tonight at 9pm EST, you should just hang out with us and talk pen stuff. Here's what's on the itinerary:

  • Noodler's Flex Nib Pens
  • GouletPens.com downtime
  • Ink Nouveau giveaway contest
  • 'Brian G' collab pens with Edison Pen Co. updates
  • New brands to add to GouletPens.com in 2011
This will be the second-to-last broadcast in 2010, so be sure to stop by!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Ink Nouveau Giveaway Contest this Thursday!!

"How do I enter?"
 
It's pretty straightforward:
  • Enter in the contest by answering a short (under 5 minute) survey about your writing preferences. The survey will be posted here on Ink Nouveau starting this Thursday (12/16) until Sunday (12/19).
  • Tweet it, blog it, Facebook it, share it any way you can.
That's it! That's all you have to do. Just enter once and you'll have the chance to win any of these 5 awesome prizes:
  1. Noodler's Clear Demonstrator Flex Nib Piston Fill Fountain Pen
  2. Noodler's December 25th (red/green) Flex Nib Piston Fill Fountain Pen
  3. Noodler's Black Swan in Australian Roses bottled fountain pen ink
  4. J. Herbin Rouge Hematite 1670 Anniversary Ink (limited edition)
  5. Rhodia ePure real leather notebook (not available in the US!)
We'll post pictures of the prizes and the survey midnight EST this coming Thursday, Dec. 16th, and you have through 11:59pm EST on Sunday, December 19th to complete the survey for entry into the contest. The 5 winners will be announced live during our final 2010 Write Time at 9 broadcast on Tuesday night (12/21 between 9-10pm EST), and posted up on Ink Nouveau Wednesday morning (12/22).

"How can I have the best chance of winning a prize?"

There will be 5 different winners, to give the best chance for everyone to win a prize. Everyone will have to do the survey to enter, and here's how we're going to select the 5 winners:
  • 1 winner will be someone who 'likes' the Goulet Pen Company on Facebook
  • 1 winner will be a follower of GouletPens on Twitter
  • 1 winner will be a member of the Fountain Pen Network
  • 1 winner will be a fellow writing enthusiast blogger
  • 1 winner will be chosen from all survey entries (nothing extra required)
Everyone has a chance to win, just by filling out the survey. But if you like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, are a member of FPN, and have a writing blog, you'll have 5 chances to win! This contest is open to US and international fans (as long as the USPS ships to your country).

"Why a Contest?"

Who cares, it's free stuff! Haha, no seriously, we have two reasons for running this contest:
  1. To thank you for your participation and support on Ink Nouveau and GouletPens.com  
  2. To encourage you to be more active in what we do and invite others to join so that we can continue doing it (and do it more/better!)
I put a lot of work into Ink Nouveau, at least a couple of hours every day. It's quite a commitment and I know you all really appreciate it. I want my efforts to be as worthwhile to as many people as possible, so this contest is really an effort to try to encourage those of your who lurk the blog to become more involved by either subscribing to RSS or Twitter or Facebook, and those of you that are already hardcore fans to spread the word and share it with your friends. The more activity and involvement I get from all of you, the more relevant and interesting stuff I can post. It's a win for everyone!

So go ahead and start spreading the word that this Thursday through Sunday is time for free stuff at Ink Nouveau! All of the cool-looking buttons to share this post are right here at the bottom of the post! What do you think? Would you like to win any of these prizes?

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Getting the most ink into your fountain pen



Link to YouTube for more viewing options.

Have you ever wished that your fountain pen would last longer on one ink-up? That maybe you could just fit a little more ink in there? You just might be able to. This is a little tip I use when inking up my pen to get the most into the pen as I can, that way it'll be longer before I need to re-ink. I hope you find it helpful!

Do you already do something like this? How does it work for you?

Saturday, December 11, 2010

GouletPens.com is shutting down

.....for a week! Haha, okay, calm down. The Goulet Pen Company is not going away, in fact, quite the opposite.

Starting December 23rd and going through December 31st we're going to be completely shutting down GouletPens.com and not taking any orders during that time. That's crazy right? Why would we intentionally turn down visitors and customers for 8 full days? We have several really good reasons:
  1. Major improvements- we have several functionality improvements that we're going to make to the site, which is really going to be worthwhile for you! Can't say what they are though, you'll just have to find out on January 1st ;)
  2. Physical inventory- Rachel and I need to do a physical inventory of every last thing we have on hand (you can imagine what that entails) for our year-end accounting, and since it's just the two of us running things, that's going to take some time
  3. Family time- Rachel and I have been workin' it pretty hard lately, and we just flat out need a break. We're going to really enjoy the holidays and spend time together as a family and actually give ourselves a break for once!
There are several things we're looking to implement with the upcoming changes. We're not just talking a couple of design changes here, we're talking about major functionality improvements that will require a somewhat major restructuring to accomplish. We can't say what we're working on, but I promise it incorporates what a lot of you have requested in the past.

We're really sorry that it's going to be an inconvenience for all of our loyal fans and customers while GouletPens.com is down for 8 days. One thing we are going to try to do to 'ease the pain' is to post pictures of all of the swabs from the Swab Shop here on Ink Nouveau, so you at least have that to reference while GPC is down.

During the same period, I'm going to be taking a break from blogging as well. I want to make sure I am making time for my family during our break :) Don't worry, there's close to 300 posts here now, so I'm sure you can poke around and find some old posts you never knew were here, maybe post some funny comments, things like that. Write Time at 9 will also be canceled for the 28th, so we'll be announcing January's Ink Drop theme on the 21st's broadcast instead so you aren't left wondering!

Take this opportunity to really have your voice heard, as we'll be dedicating ourselves to really getting GouletPens.com improved like never before. So what changes do you think we're going to make? What would you like to see us change?

Friday, December 10, 2010

Noodler's Flex Nib Pen

Just a couple of quick pics here of the pen that's causing all the hubbub. I'm a TOTAL hack at using a flex nib, it's something that takes some practice. I haven't had the time to practice since they came in....hmmm... I wonder why? ;)

These pics ought to be enough just to satisfy some of your initial curiosity, this is not a full review by any means! Of course there was only one choice when it came time to ink it up. Black Swan, duh.




Now I have a tiiiny bit of experience with flex nibs. I have a Waterman 52 and Mabie Todd Swallow from the 20's-30's, and I have to say that the Noodler's pen is not far off from them. The nib is a different design on the Noodler's pen, it's a 'Nib Creaper' ventless nib that has a slit that goes all the way up into the section, that's how you get all that flex. Here's unflexed:


And flexed:


Unlike the feedback I heard about the first 'test market' of the Noodler's Flex Nib pens, I found these to flex quite easily and without a lot of effort. You definitely need to write slower, and there's a 'sweet spot' on the nib that you need to find by adjusting the angle you hold the pen, but when all's good, it's a pretty awesome little pen. At $14 it's a tremendous value and a lot of fun to use.

What do you think?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

You guys just rock

Yesterday was just awesome. The genuine excitement that you all have for what Rachel and I do is addictive and infectious, and I don't ever want it to stop! We are both humbled and delighted with all of the support lately for GouletPens.com, Ink Nouveau, and everything we do. I have to say is that I love pens, ink, and paper, but it's all of you as individuals and as a writing community that make me sure that we're doing the right thing day in and day out.

Rachel and I are going to be pretty busy for the next several days. Our big release yesterday was record shattering for us, and we're going to be waking up early and staying up late Bing-Bang-Bonging it all day long until we're caught back up. The blogging may be a little light over the next few days, but we're gonna do our best to keep it going.

We always appreciate hearing from you, so if you'd like to leave any comments about how writing enhances your life, I'm sure others will be inspired to read it (I know I will be).

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Big release of Flex Pens in 10 minutes!!

You have 10 minutes to load up your cart at GouletPens.com with other things before the Noodler's Flex Nib pens, Platinum Plaisirs, and Noodler's Black Swan go up for sale. Good luck to everyone! We'll be watching this post here, so you can put your comments in here as the excitement builds ;)

Write Time at 9: December 7th, 2010

Join us live every Tuesday night at 9pm EST for Write Time at 9! We talk pens, paper, ink, and random other things (writing related usually).


Link to Ustream for the vid.

This week we talked about all of the new stuff we have dropping today:
We're doing a big release of all of these products at 12 (noon) EST, so make sure to rearrange your schedule accordingly if you're interested. The flex nib pens will go FAST, of that I'm sure! I finally got to test out the Flex Nib pens too, and I have to say they actually exceeded my expectation! Especially for $14, there is just nothing like it out there. Nothing.

Here's everything else we covered:

December Ink Drop colors- Diamine Ruby, Diamine Evergreen, Noodler's Polar Blue, Private Reserve Fiesta Red, and Private Reserve Spearmint. We wanted to go with some festive holiday colors. It seems like USPS is running a little behind, not surprisingly for this time of year. If you haven't gotten your Drop yet, just be patient, it's on its way!

Brian Gray/Brian Goulet collaborative pens-
we're going to be working on them over the next month or so, and we're always open to ideas about colors you might like. We're looking at offering 2 or 3 different colors. Check out Brian Gray's gallery for ideas. We're shooing to keep the pens priced under $150, so that alone is very exciting!

Pen show appearances (maybe)- Rachel and I have talked about doing pen shows in 2011, but more as attendees. We'd love to walk around and get a chance to talk and meet with everyone, not do like we did at the DC show and just hustle product all day long (that's what the website's for, right?).

New potential ink brands to bring in for 2011- We posted about this just the other day. We're looking to expand our ink offerings and we're trying to nail down what will be the best ones to go after first. The ones we have in our crosshairs are Waterman, Parker, Rohrer and Klingner, and Sailor. We haven't nailed down the timing of the expansion, but you can probably expect to see these in the next few months.

Potential new products lines for 2011- We're always looking to offer new things you might like. We do have some things we're exploring right now, but we'll keep them on the down-low for now. If you ever have any ideas of what you'd like us to carry, let us know.

Goulet exclusive Noodler's colors-
We've talked to Nathan about this and it's a definite possibility. Though we don't have anything nailed down yet, we're open to ideas any time. Nathan's a little busy (understatement) with his new pens and everything else, and we're pretty busy right now too. We're going to look to make this happen early 2011. We'll be blogging and looking for your input to help us design some awesome inks for GPC.

First ever Ink Nouveau contest giveaway (it'll be sweeeeet)- Ohhhh yes. Once things settle down a bit after the release we're going to run a blog contest/giveaway next week here on Ink Nouveau. I don't want to spoil it, but we'll be giving away at least 5 different incredibly awesome prizes to help increase the readership and participation here on Ink Nouveau. We put a LOT of work into this blog (about 2-4 hours a day, usually), and we want as many people to benefit from it as possible.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Write Time Topics 12/7/10

This week's Write Time at 9 will be a busy one! If you're just hanging out tonight at 9pm EST, you should just hang out with us and talk pen stuff. Here's what's on the itinerary:
  • Noodler's Flex Nib pens- hopefully I'll have them to show and test live
  • Platinum Plaisirs- I will have these to show live
  • The super-crazy-epic GPC release tomorrow at noon
  • December Ink Drop colors....?
  • Brian Gray/Brian Goulet collaborative pens
  • Pen show appearances (maybe)
  • New potential ink brands to bring in for 2011
  • Potential new products lines for 2011
  • Goulet exclusive Noodler's colors
  • First ever Ink Nouveau contest giveaway (it'll be sweeeeet)
I think that'll about do it for this week, haha! Wow, that's actually a lot to cover now that I look at it. Good thing I always stay focused and on topic.....

One thing I am debating about is whether or not to reveal the Ink Drop colors...USPS is pretty busy right now and even though we mailed everything out on the 1st, there are still plenty of Ink Drop members that haven't gotten them yet. We don't want to spoil any surprises, so let me know if you think we should reveal the colors or not during the broadcast and we'll decide from there. Just post what you think in the comments.

Monday, December 6, 2010

What ink brands do you really want to see at GouletPens?

Monday: Ink Stuff

  

We carry a lot of ink at GouletPens.com, that's true. But we get asked all the time about carrying this brand or that brand. We're looking to get into more brands as our holiday rush settles down here in a few weeks.

We currently carry:
  • Caran d'Ache
  • Diamine
  • Everflo
  • J. Herbin
  • Noodler's
  • Pelikan
  • Platinum
  • Private Reserve
  • Sheaffer
We have a few inks in our crosshairs for 2011, but we won't say who (yet, hehe). We're going to have to pace ourselves, so knowing what you want will help us to make our decision about which ones to go after first! If you've been following us for long, you know that if there's one thing we do really well it's listen to your feedback and respond with carrying what you want.

Just post what you think in the comments!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Converting a Platinum Preppy to an Eyedropper Pen



Link to YouTube to see how to convert your Preppy.

Platinum Preppy pens are pretty well known in the pen world as being one of the best values around, with a list price of only $4. It's sturdy, reliable, attractive, and works well. For the true ink addict, they are indispensable.

The bodies of these pens are perfectly suited for an eyedropper conversion, which means instead of getting a $7 Platinum converter to use your bottled ink, you can use an o-ring and a little silicone grease and you can fill the whole body of the pen with ink. Not only do you save cash, but you also increase your ink capacity by about a bajillion percent.

The conversion is simple, I would guess it'll take you about 20 seconds. The only thing I want to point out is that with any pen that has this large of an ink reservoir, you might want to keep it at least half-full at all times. You *may* experience some ink 'burping' (air bubbles coming out of the nib) if you get below half full. Why? This is up for debate, but I've heard the heat from your hand raises the temperature of the air inside the pen body, and the difference in pressure causes it to come out of the only place it can: the nib. Is that true? I'm not sure. Just use the pen as long as you want, and if you notice it burp and you see you're low on ink, fill it back up!

OMG WHERE CAN I GET THESE O-RINGS???


That's what you're thinking, I know. I had a ton of people ask me for them, and Nathan from Noodler's was kind enough to supply me with the exact same ones he uses in his unmarked Preppys he includes with a lot of his 4.5 ounce Noodler's ink bottles.  You can pretty much use any o-ring you can find that's about this size. Just look for a chemical-resistant o-ring with roughly a 7.5mm inside diameter and 9.2mm outside diameter. If you want these ones from GouletPens, here they are, 4 for $1.

And the silicone grease?


You can use any 100% clear silicone grease (NOT silicone caulk), often it can be found in the plumbing section at your local home center (this is what Nathan from Noodler's recommends). But if you just can't find it locally, don't worry. Lots of pen sellers have it online. We've ordered some really good food-grade grease to carry at GouletPens.com, but it's not in yet. We'll have it soon, I promise.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Big Release: Noodler's Flex Pens, Black Swan, Platinum Plasirs, o-rings

GouletPens.com- New Big Release

My goodness there is a lot happening. We have a lot of new and exciting stuff coming in, and it's cause for another scheduled 'release' like we've done in the past with hot new items. So mark your calendars:


Wednesday, December 8th at 12pm (noon) Eastern US time is when it will all go live.

We'll have:
  • Noodler's Flex Nib Pens (new)
  • Noodler's Black Swan in Australian Roses
  • Platinum Plaisir Aluminum Pens (new)
  • Noodler's (replacement) piston seal o-rings
  • Platinum Preppy o-rings (for eyedropper conversion)
So load up your shopping carts at GouletPens.com, because when 12 noon hits on Wednesday, it'll be first-to-the-finish gets the prize! We have a lot of cool new stuff coming in.


Noodler's Flex Nib Pens

These highly-anticipated pens are going to be the main attraction. A pen with a flexible nib allows you to write with varying line thickness based on the amount of pressure you apply when you write. The tines of the nib spread and allow more ink to flow, which not only increased the line width but also provides very dramatic color variation with inks that shade well (ahem, Black Swan!).

The only problem has been that few if any really flexible nib pens have been made in recent years, because they're finicky to set on the pen and can't be done by machine (it requires hand work). Your only option previously has been to either buy very expensive custom pens, get a nib custom ground by a nibmeister to add flex, or buy vintage, and these are all expensive options. Until now.

Nathan at Noodler's has put his vast vintage pen repair experience to work on this (that's what he did for YEARS before making ink), and he's hand-setting every single one of the nibs on the Noodler's Flex Nib pens himself. How? I don't have a clue. I'm starting to honestly believe that the man is like Willy Wonka and has an army of Oompa Loompas mixing all his inks, with a Baystate Blue waterfall flowing through his magical ink labratory, haha!

Bottom line is that his pens will list for $14. The pen body is identical to the Noodler's Piston-Fill Fountain Pens:


They're ultimately going to be available in all colors, but for this initial release only the clear and a mottled red/green pen (called the December 25th pen) are available (I'm afraid I don't have a pic of the red/green pen for you). That's all Nathan has ready so far. So to clarify, you can get a piston-fill fountain pen with a flex nib for $14. Not bad.

How much do they flex? I'm not 100% certain because I haven't even seen one yet myself. I spoke with Nathan about it and he says it's around a fine/medium normally, and will comfortably flex to 1.5mm (2mm if you really push it). That's a pretty darn good variation.

You're going to want to sign up for these ones. They aren't available in an unlimited supply, it's all dependent on how many Nathan can get out. We've stocked up as much as we've been able to get our hands on, but we aren't incredibly certain when more will be available. Go to the Noodler's Flex Nib Pen page on our website and sign up for an email notification if you'd like to know the second we list them for sale.


Noodler's Black Swan in Australian Roses


This ink has also been in hot demand, when we got our first shipment is was gone in 24 hours. You remember all that Friday night drama with the Fedex truck getting in a 9:30pm? Yes, that. Well, the delivery is supposed to arrive on Tuesday, so we figured waiting until Wednesday would save you all from having to cancel your dinner plans and blow off your friends and family! We're expecting more bottles than we had in the first shipment, a lot more. So hopefully it will last a little while for us, though honestly it's hard to say! The ink was not only highly anticipated before the first batch of it showed up, but it's actually been getting a lot of really great feedback since people started using it.

If you'd like some, there's going to be no limit on bottles as we're *hoping* with our increased quantities it will allow anyone who wants it to get it. You can sign up for an email notification on the Noodler's page on our site if you'd like to know as soon as it's available. 


Platinum Plaisir Fountain Pens

This is a new pen from Platinum that has been a huge hit since it was release about a month ago. We waited a little bit to carry it just because we have SO much going on, but we said 'eh what the heck' and went ahead and got them anyway. What are they? They're essentially the Platinum Preppys that you know and love, but with really sleek and sexy aluminum bodies and a new sealed cap that Platinum has designed for the ink to go a year+ sitting in it without drying out. Here's the official press release from Platinum about the Plaisirs.

The list price is $21, we're going to price them at what seems to be the going rate online, $20. They are offered in 2 nib sizes (just like the Preppys), a fine (.3mm) and medium (.5mm). You have seven colors to choose from, which you can see here:


I thought these looked cool, but when I finally got a sample of the black and the violet in my hands, I was even more excited. These are pretty sharp pens, and more durable than the plastic Preppys. The nibs even match the body color of the pen, now how cool is that? The ONLY downside to these pens is that they are not able to be converted to eyedroppers like the Preppys, as the aluminum will react with your ink and give you a not-so-great writing experience. You'll be limited to using the proprietary Platinum cartridges (one comes with each pen) or converters (which is not included).

If you're interested in any Plaisirs, we're going to carry all 7 colors in both nib sizes, and you can find them here.


Noodler's O-Rings 

Due to popular demand we were able to get you two different o-rings. One is for replacing the piston seal of your Noodler's Piston-fill fountain pens, and you can see Nathan doing that here:



The other is the o-ring to seal up the body of the Platinum Preppy so you can fill the entire thing with ink, thus increasing the writing time dramatically as well as eliminating the need for the $7 Platinum Converter! With a 4-pack of these O-rings going for only $1, you can get 4 Platinum Preppys for under $16 (they're $3.95 each) and convert them all to eyedroppers for $.25 each. That's a tough deal to beat in the fountain pen world.

We've already started selling the Noodler's (replacement) Piston Seal O-rings and the Platinum Preppy o-rings.


Other Cool Stuff

In addition to all of this great stuff, we also still have some J. Herbin 1670 ink, some Noodler's Nib Creaper fountain pens (though not many!), a bunch of Preppy pen colors that we've been missing, Pelikan Script 1.0 pens, and plenty of other ink and paper for you. And if you haven't heard yet, there's a couple of cool little bonuses being included in the 4.5 ounce Noodler's Nikita and Heart of Darkness inks, I blogged about that yesterday.

This is just the latest batch of everything new available at GouletPens.com. Rachel and I are working ourselves hard to provide you all the best stuff and keep you up to date as it comes in. Thanks for being so patient with us, and as always, just post any questions you have here in the comments.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Adding 'Pen Stuff' to Ink Nouveau + a 'mystery' pen

It's become pretty apparent to me that we're going to have to add a day for 'Pen Stuff' to our daily Ink Nouveau blogging schedule. Here's our current schedule if you're not familiar already:

Sunday: Tips and Tricks (Ink Blots, tips and advice for making your writing experience better)
Monday: Ink Stuff (reviews, details, features, comparisons, etc)
Tuesday: Write Time Itinerary (topics to discuss, taking questions, etc)
Wednesday: Write Time recorded video
Thursday: Paper Stuff (overviews, comparisons, etc)
Friday: Random cool stuff (writing related)
Saturday: GouletPens/Product Announcements

This schedule has been working out pretty well for us so far, the only thing is there's no dedicated day for pen stuff! We end up blogging it on Tuesdays, Fridays, or Saturday (if it's related to products we'll be carrying), but a dedicated day to pens is overdue, I think.

Of course ultimately it's going to depend on what's best for us, but do you have a preference? I'm thinking Friday would be good, so let's try it out! Here's what we'll do from now on:

Sunday: Tips and Tricks (Ink Blots, tips and advice for making your writing experience better)
Monday: Ink Stuff (reviews, details, features, comparisons, etc)
Tuesday: Write Time Itinerary (topics to discuss, taking questions, etc)
Wednesday: Write Time recorded video
Thursday: Paper Stuff (overviews, comparisons, etc)
Friday: Pen Stuff (reviews, features, comparisons, etc)
Saturday: GouletPens/Product Announcements

Friday: Pen Stuff

As many of you know (or at least will now), all of the Noodler's 4.5 ounce ink bottles come with eyedropper caps, and many of them come with free pens. These pens have typically been unmarked Platinum Preppy's that have been converted to eyedropper fill pens (that don't require a converter). However, I found a neat little surprise when I pulled aside a bottle of Noodler's Nikita today for doing ink samples:

A new type of pen!! I hadn't heard anything about it, or even seen a pen like it! It's what appears to be a Noodler's Nib Creaper eyedropper fill pen, but with a clear body and a swirly red acrylic section, finial, and cap. Where in the world did this thing come from?

I immediately called my distributor to figure out what is going on with these pens! Apparently, Nathan likes to experiment with different stuff (if you hadn't noticed!), and has these pens going out in all the Nikita 4.5 ounce bottles now. The pens aren't available individually, just with the inks. Soooo....basically if you want to buy the pen, you could view it as you're getting a free HUGE bottle of ink, or if you want the ink, you're getting a pretty snazzy pen to boot.

I've also been told there are some of these pens with a blue swirl acrylic instead of the red. Perhaps they'll be coming in 4.5 ounce Polar Blue? Looks like I'd better go check my Polar Blue....okay nope, still Preppys.

Another thing I heard about was a rollerball tip for the Preppy to be included with Noodler's Heart of Darkness 4.5 ounce bottles. Sure enough...yup! The Preppys now have both a fountain pen (.3mm) tip and a rollerball tip. Check the vid below.

This is all new stuff, and all of the 'old' bottles of Nikita and HOD are going to have just the .3 Preppys. So if you definitely want the new pens, ask your retailer of choice about which ones they have first. If GouletPens.com is your retailer of choice, know that all of the Nikita and HOD that we have on hand now has these new pens (we checked). Not to say they will forever, things sometimes change suddenly with Noodler's!



Link to YouTube for the vid.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Fountain Pen Friendly Index Cards

Thursday: Paper Stuff

I get asked every so often about what index cards are good for fountain pens. More specifically, I get asked about 3"x5" index cards like we're all used to, but ones that are good for fountain pen ink. Exacompta does make really nice index cards, but they may or may not be what you're looking for. 

They come in multicolor assorted packs, 100 cards to a pack. There's 25 blue, yellow, pink, and green. The only choice is 5x5 graph ruling. They're French, so they're not the same size that we're used to here in the US. They have 3 different products that are imported regularly into the US:
  • 4" x 6"
  • 5" x 8"
  • 5.75" x 8.25"
But this isn't going to be a full-on review of these cards, that's something I'll do later. The whole reason I bring these cards up is because they're the only truly fountain pen friendly index cards that I'm aware are around. That's part of why I wanted to post this. I would love to track down a source for good index cards, especially something available in blank or lined, white, and in a 3x5 size. Do you know of anything?

Working with your cheap-o index cards

If all you have are the office's bargain brand, there are a few things you can do to make it more bearable to use your pens on your junk index cards. Here's a couple of tricks that work for cheap paper in general:
  1. Use a finer nib- stay away from the broads and italics. Using a finer nib, especially in a drier writing pen will put less ink on the paper, causing less problems like feathering and bleedthrough
  2. Change your ink- some inks perform better than others on cheap paper. Play around! You may be surprised which ones work well on cheap paper. The pen is also a factor, but one suggestion I have is Noodler's X-feather, which was specifically designed not to, well, feather. Certain other inks are 'dry' writing, like Pelikan (Edelstein as well as 4001), which helps resist feathering.
  3. Hold the card really far away from you when you read it. Preferably across your desk or at more than an arm's length. The less you can see it, the less you'll see any ink problems (this is of course, a joke suggestion!)
Seriously though, if anyone else has any good index card source, share with us all here in the comments. Also, let us know if you have any other tips for writing on your cheap-o index cards!

If you do like the Exacompta ones, we do have the 4x6 size available at GouletPens.com.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Special Write Time at 9: November 30, 2010 with Brian Gray of Edison Pens

Join us live every Tuesday night at 9pm EST for Write Time at 9! We talk pens, paper, ink, and random other things (writing related usually).



Link to Ustream for the recorded video.

This week was an incredibly special broadcast as we had Brian Gray of the Edison Pen Company join us live for an extended 2 hour broadcast. We covered a whole host of different topics including:
  • Brian's custom pen overlays
  • New smaller Edison pens
  • Edison italic nibs
  • Custom pen materials
  • The rise of the Edison Pen Co. and where he's going from here
  • Basics of nib tuning
  • Post-holiday joint giveaway b/w Ink Nouveau and Edison blog
  • Different custom filling mechanisms
  • Pen and Ink Mythbusters!
  • Noodler's flex nib pens
  • Kits pens vs. custom
Of course with a 2 hour recording there isn't much we left out, but if you have something you wanted to know that we missed (or you just don't have the time to watch the whole recording!) just post here in the comments.