Category Archives: Fun Stuff

Penthusiasm!

Patrick at The Cramped takes no pleasure in finding someone else’s PaperMate Inkjoy.

Austin at Art Supply Critic gives a forever home to his new Staedtler AllXwrite pencil.

Ray at Fountain Pen Quest pairs up the Pilot Custom 823 and Pilot blue-black ink.

Matthias at Bleistift expresses his disappointment with the Pilot Color Eno.

Todd from That One Pen tells the story of his trip to the Washington D.C. Pen Show.

Amanda at Pens Paper Ink breaks the back of the Quo Vadis APB 2.

Jon at The Leadhead’s Pencil Blog shares his adventures with Parker Vacumatic pencils at the D.C. pen show.

Brian at OfficeSupplyGeek downsizes to try the Black n Red Mini notebook.

Angela at Paper Lovestory shares her sister’s meticulous handwritten university notes.

George at My Supply Room displays his collection of Pentel desk sets.

Ink, A Documentary For Penthusiasts

A short Canadian documentary has been making the rounds of the pen community this summer, and for good reason.

It’s a brief, delightful ode to pen, ink and handwriting as an art form.

Ink was directed by Toronto filmmaker Ryan Couldrey and focuses on Tanja Tiziana, a freelance photographer with a passion for pen and ink.

Ink – Written by Hand (#INKdoc) from Ryan Couldrey | @RyTron on Vimeo.

It’s only about seven minutes and well worth the time. I guarantee you’ll be entranced by the flow of the dip pen she uses for calligraphy.

You can also visit Couldrey’s website for additional footage from Ink and interviews with Tizina.

Winner of the August 2015 Tiger Pens Giveaway!

We have to give a great big thanks to all who took the time to enter this month’s giveaway.

Lindsey M, you’re the randomly selected winner!

So here’s the deal: Send us an email using the contact link on the lower right side of the page, and we’ll send you a set of 7 colorful Uniball Signo TSI erasable pens.

You have a week to claim your prize, so don’t delay.

Thanks again to everyone who put their names in. If you didn’t win, you’ll get a chance at another nifty prize in just a few weeks.

Watch the blog for the next Tiger Pens giveaway!

Check Out These Movie Trailer Drawings

There’s a lot of secrecy around the trailers for the upcoming movie based on the Warcraft games.

The gaming and movie press have gotten to see some of them, including an extended preview at Comic-Con recently, but access outside those circles has been limited.

So a few people with varying degrees of artistic talent have gotten creative by coming up with their own movie trailer drawings.

Bryan Bishop, reporting from Comic-Con for TheVerge.com, was armed with a Uniball Signo 207 and a Moleskine notebook when he saw the preview.

He decided to sketch the movie trailer for Warcraft. Continue reading

Tiger Pens Giveaway: Uniball Signo TSI Erasable Pens

Uniball Signo TSIGuys, we’ve got a brilliant one for you this month!

The Uniball Signo TSI is a high-performing erasable gel pen that became available in the UK this summer and is quickly replacing Uniball’s previous offering, the Fanthom.

They’re great pens for drawing or for using in your adult coloring books, or perfect for kids doing their homework.

Want to try them out? No problem. You’ll have a chance to win a pack of 7 Signo TSIs in a range of colors including black, sky blue and violet.

This month, we’re going to try something a little different. To enter, just leave a comment below telling us you’re favorite kind of pen. Then we’ll randomly select one winner from the entries.

(While you’re here, don’t forget to check out our online store and the blog for lots of nifty articles about pens and the things that people do with them. And be sure to tell your friends about Tiger Pens!)

The contest is open until Aug. 21 to residents of, well, anywhere. We’ll announce the name of the winner on the blog Aug. 24.

One entry per person, please.

The only way to win is to enter, so make sure to put your name in while there’s time. This is one giveaway you don’t want to miss out on this summer.

Good luck to everybody!

Doodling Art is Centuries Old

Here’s something interesting: Doodling is not a creation of the modern mind.

Doodling art has been discovered in manuscripts going back hundreds of years, with drawings of cats, funny faces and naughty stuff showing up in the margins of everything from Bibles to texts about King Arthur and Merlin.

Credit: British Library

Credit: British Library

That’s right, medieval people indulged their inner 12-year-olds just like we do.

The people who came before us were just as creative with their pens, and just as apt to grow bored copying texts by hand in the days before printing presses became widely available. The doodles added to the margins of their pages show they had a bawdy, sharp-eyed sense of satire. Continue reading

Winner Of The Tiger Pens July 2015 Giveaway

Beverly Marsh, it looks like 22 is your lucky number!

A staggering 543 people entered our giveaway this month for a Chameleon Deluxe 22-pen set. We used the Random.org number generator to select a winning number, which belonged to Beverly.

So happy news for you! You’ll soon receive your set of Chameleon color-blending pens.

To claim the 22-pen set, use the contact link at the bottom right to send us an email with your mailing address. You’ll have one week to claim your prize.

Have fun using your new Chameleon pens!

Thanks to everyone who entered; you made this month’s giveaway a great success!

Please keep any eye on the Tiger Pens Blog for future giveaways of awesome pens, markers and pencils.

Polymer Clay Pens Anyone?

Jana Lehmann, Creative Commons

This is a new one for me, but may be familiar to you if you’re into crafts.

Polymer clay is a decorative clay that can be molded onto ordinary items, then hardened by baking. Apparently, people decorate pens with clay.

But not just any pen.

It has to be one that will survive the heat of the oven. The pen most recommended for turning into a polymer clay pen seems to be the Bic Round Stic. Crafters have oven-tested it and confirmed that it will survive the high heat.

Also, it probably helps that the Bic and some of the others suggested for use – including a few models of Paper Mate – are cheap ballpoints. Covering your nice Zebra or Pentel would be sort of pointless, I think.

It also seems to matter which brand of clay you use, with at least one crafter strongly recommending Premo brand clay for pens.

The results of combing decorative clay and disposable ink pens are pretty amazing. Among some of my favorite polymer clay pens are the lightsaber pen, the chocolate cupcake pen, and the Despicable Me pen seen in this tutorial video.

If you’d like to give this a go, it seems to be a fairly simple process, with plenty of polymer clay pen tutorials like the one above to help you out.

Or, if you’re lazy like me, you can just buy some already made. Etsy has a healthy selection of polymer clay pens for sale. I’ve found some awesome examples, like this steampunk pen that probably won’t be there for long.

Any crafty readers who’ve made some of these pens? Don’t be shy; send us some pics. We’d love to see your work.

Share Your Pen Story, Win Free Pens!

share your storyLast week on the blog, we told you about Rob and his passion for Platinum Preppy fountain pens.

Now Tiger Pens Blog wants to hear from you!

Tell us about your favorite pens, pencils or markers and what you do with them. You can write something up and send it to us (don’t worry about making it perfect; we’ll edit it) or let us interview you for a blog post.

It’ll give you a chance to share you artwork, your writing and your thoughts with others who get excited about pens. Whether you’re an engineer who draws precise diagrams, a shopworker with a hidden talent for handwritten poetry, or a pensioner into the adult coloring craze, you have a pen story to tell.

We’ll be doing a few profiles each month and everyone we feature on the blog will be entered into a drawing at the end of the year. The prize: a gift voucher with £100 to spend on your favorite pens at Tiger Pens.

gift card

To send us your pen story, just click the ‘contact us’ link on the bottom right side of the page.

Please include your name and a little about yourself, such as what you do for a living and where you’re from. If you’d rather be interviewed, let us know and we’ll email you some questions.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Tiger Pens Giveaway: Chameleon Pens

It’s time to give away another set of pens, and this month, we’re going with one of our new favorites.

One randomly selected person will win a Chameleon Deluxe 22-pen set.

The Chamelon pen is a marker pen with a unique mixing chamber in the barrel that allows you to easily create color gradations as you draw. By diluting the color at the tip and gaining color intensity as the ink flows down, you can change shades on the go, without having to change pens.

These are fairly recent to the UK and we’ve just started carrying them. We’ve been having fun playing with them and now want to give one of our readers a chance to try them out.

chameleon pensThe prize includes colors such as aqua marine, seville orange and crimson red. It also includes a blender pen, a detail pen and a guidebook with ideas for using the pens.

To win your 22-pack of Chameleon pens, just leave a comment below between now and July 29. We’ll use the random number generator at random.org to select the winner and announce the lucky name on July 31.

As always, the contest is open all around the world. But please, one entry per person.

Good luck to all. Be sure to tell your friends about the giveaway so they can enter too.

A Whole Bunch Of Google Pens

Google maze penAt the risk of sounding like a fanboy, I like Google.

Chrome, Google Earth, Android, those funny little driverless cars. I even liked the movie “The Internship,” even though it was just a two-hour commercial for Google.

They make good stuff.

So when I read a passing mention the other day of Google pens, I got a little excited. After some searching, I tracked them down. Turns out it’s a good news/bad news type of thing. The good: Yes, Google has pens. The bad: They’re mostly just promotional ballpoints.

Still, these are some cool novelty pens. With the Google logo. If you’re into novelty pens and Google, that’s great, right? Continue reading

Relax, Focus With Adult Coloring

marvel coloring bookIf you’ve ever spent much time in the hospital, you know how bored you can get. That happened to me recently when I was in for quite a long stay.

I’d run out of books, got tired of TV and wasn’t all that mobile. I was desperate for something to do. Luckily, a kind nurse turned up a Marvel coloring book and a tub of crayons. Kid stuff, but I was in no position to scoff.

For the first time since grade school, I put Crayola to paper and turned out quite a nice Captain America, even if his suit was deep black and his shield a shiny purple.

Wow, I had no idea how relaxing coloring could be for an adult. It’s one of those singular tasks that requires all your focus – and none of it. Your hands and eyes take over and your mind feels free to wander where it will. Continue reading

Winner of the Tiger Pens June 2015 Giveaway!

Congratulations to Liz Slade.

You’ve just won a 24-pack of Stabilo Aquacolor pencils!

As usual, we used random.org to select one of the entries from our June 2015 giveaway. That number, 56, belonged to Liz Slade.

Liz, please use the contact link at the bottom right of the page to send us an email with your mailing address.

We’ll get your prize on the way as soon as possible.

For everyone else, thanks for entering and keep an eye on the blog because we’ll be announcing another awesome giveaway in just a few weeks.

Some of Our Favourite Blog Posts in June

Here at Tiger Pens we all like reading other peoples pen & paper related blogs. Here are a few posts that have caught our eye recently. We hope you enjoy them as much as we did.

Matt from the Pen Habit lists his top 5 – his no.1 is an OMAS Ogiva which he finds a joy to hold and a joy to behold

If there are any fans of the series Blacklist Bob’s post on My Pen Needs Ink may be of interest

Tim at the Wirecutter considers the uni-ball Jetstream has the best ink flow of any non fountain pen you can read his review

Cheryl shares some great sketches created with fountain pen ink you can take a look on the Writers Bloc blog

We recently came across Anderson Pens, they have a series of podcasts talking about a range of pen related stuff, anything from nibs to myths you can check them out here

Joshua at The Pelikan’s Perch has a comprehensive guide to Pelikan Fountain Pens on their blog

Dries at The Pencilcase blog reviews Sailor Jentle Tokiwa-Matsu & has some impressive writing samples

There’s a post on Goldspot Pens about a trio of Kaweco pens. They take the sports for a spin & summarise the findings

 

Is being Left Handed good or bad news?

All this hoo-ha about Prince George being left handed had me wondering if being a leftie is a good or bad thing. For starters I was a little surprised to learn that currently less than 15% of the population is left handed, here are a few other things that I came across in my travels….. hand

  • Any readers old enough to remember school days in the 30′s & 40′s will recall lefties being punished as if it were a sin, they had their knuckles wrapped & were forced to change their writing hand.
  • Lefties are better at sports, well that’s what some say & there’s no doubt that there are a fair few superstars both past & present, John McEnroe, Arnold Palmer, Babe Ruth & Paula Radcliffe to name just a few.
  • Studies suggest that babies born prematurely are more likely to be left handed
  • Left-handed people are at a disadvantage in some sports like Polo. This is down to good old health & safety as rules of the game state the mallet has to be held on the right of the horse.

There was a time when left handed people were at a distinct disadvantage however, today there are a great number of writing aids & Left Handed Pens. Since 1976 one day each year has been labelled International Left Handed Day, this year if falls on 13th August & will promote awareness of the inconvenience of being left handed in what is essentially a right handed world.

There are any number of random facts & figures around some more believable than others like the idea that lefties were possessed by the devil. Whether these statements/beliefs are fact or fiction can be proved or disproved depending upon what you read & where you look.

Do You Know This Unidentified Fountain Pen?

There was a time in America when fountain pens were so ubiquitous they showed up as props in cartoons for kids. With that in mind, here’s one for your fountain pen buffs.

A member on the Badger & Blade forum posted a clip from a 1941 cartoon called “Mr. Bug Goes to Town.” In the clip, one of the bugs hides inside what looks like a red lacquer fountain pen. RaiderSix wants to know whether anyone recognizes the unidentified fountain pen.

(The pen makes its appearance about 47 seconds in.)

So far, no one has definitively identified the pen. One person thought it might be an Esterbrook, another said it resembled a Parker Duofold, somebody else thought it had Sheaffer characteristics. Probably just a generic fountain pen, a few concluded.

So, we put it to you…is this a specific fountain pen, and if so, do you know what kind it is? We might be able to scare up a little gift for the person who can solve the mystery.

And just for giggles, here’s Mickey Mouse using a generic lever filler as a machine gun.

(At 5:27)

Tiger Pens Giveaway: 24-pack Stabilo Aquacolor Pencils

Stabilo Aquacolor

(UPDATE: This giveaway is closed. Please check the blog for the current month’s giveaway.)

Earlier in the week, we promised you a giveaway, and here it is!

The prize for this drawing is a tin of 24 Stabilo Aquacolor pencils. They come in a wide range of pastel and primary hues and have 2.88 mm leads.

They’re great for coloring and sketching, especially since they are water-soluble and the lines can be washed for a softer, more elegant look. Stabilo calls them “the paintable pencil,” suited for use by students and amateur artists.

professional_colored_pencil(If you’ve not tried it before, Empty Easel offers some points on blending and brushing with colored pencils. They take you step-by-step through some simple techniques for adding a little sophistication to your sketches.)

For a chance to win the 24-pack of Stabilo Aquacolors, just leave a comment at the bottom of this page. Entries close at midnight June 30.

The contest is open worldwide. One entry per person, please.

We’ll randomly select one winner and announce the results on the blog July 2.

 

Summer 2015 Pen Giveaways

You know what everybody loves?

FREE STUFF!

There, didn’t your pulse speed up just the tiniest bit? It should because there are freebies in the offing from some of your favorite pen makers.

Here are some of the pen giveaways currently running:

UK Only

Stabilo contestStabilo is looking for the Young Journalist of the Year in the UK. Impress the judges with your writing and you could win your own column at First News and £1000 worth of Stabilo goodies to share with your class. Continue reading

5 Random Ink Facts

Ink has been around for centuries, it’s one of those everyday things we don’t take much notice of. Here are 5 facts about ink that surprised me, hope you find them interesting.

blue-paint-splatsF2

1. Soy Ink might not be is not as green as we think
Initially developed in the 70′s by the newspaper industry as an environmentally friendly alternative to conventional ink, it’s often claimed that soy ink is easier to remove from paper. Some studies suggest however that it’s difficult to treat in the recycling process due to increased oxidation that develops once vegetable oils age & dry.

2. Ink goes all the way back to the Bronze Age
We know that ink goes way back in time but the question of who invented it depends upon what you read & who you believe. According to historian BN Goswamy the use of ink dates back to the Bronze Age & many say that black ink was invented in 2697 BC by philosopher Tien-Lcheu.

3. Even permanent ink can be removed
Our medieval ancestors sourced things like hawthorn & soot, iron salts & tannic acids were also used to produce Iron Gall ink, said to be the most important ink in Western history. The latter was apparently used by Leonardo da Vinci & Bach to create & compose their masterpieces. Today a variety of complex combinations can be used to produce pens, markers & bottled ink. Although we often want something permanent & long lasting in order for important documents to stand the test of time we occasionally need to remove it. Using a lanolin based cream like Amodex should do the trick, it’s eco-friendly & non-toxic.

Amodex Ink & Stain Remover

4. Squid Ink can be used to Treat Cancer
Squid ink has been used in restaurants for ages, often found in pasta & rissoto dishes, but did you know that it’s now considered to be a health food & can shrink tumours? Researchers have discovered that squid ink can boost immunity due to its antioxident properties, protect white blood cell production & help fight cancer and tumor cells by stopping new blood vessels growing in them.

5. Ink can’t kill you
In the unlikely event that you should you choose to swap your morning coffee for ink then it can be harmful, the worst that can happen mind you is you may get headaches or skin irritation which is likely to be due to solvents or pigments in the ink.

Could Digital Pens Be Worth Writing Home About?

The challenge to develop digital pens apparently started some 25 years ago. Today there are a number on offer, some use a camera technology developed by Anoto, others have a device that tracks the pens movement across the writing surface.

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The description of a digital pen according to PC mag is “An electronic ballpoint pen that digitizes, stores and transfers what is written or drawn to the computer” The taking of notes is an important skill for many of us in a variety of situations, whether that’s at a lecture, meeting or important presentation. A digital pen is less cumbersome to use than a tablet or laptop & is less of a distraction allowing you to concentrate on what you write without dipping in & out of emails or surfing the net.

One of the latest gadgets around is Phree, users can scribble & make note on almost any surface, from the car dash to the office chair, you won’t have to reach for a pen or your phone to record your thoughts or an all important contact name or number. It will connect to your phone, TV or laptop, anything with a bluetooth connection. As a current Kickstarter campaign Phree isn’t expected to be ready for shipping until March 2016.

If you can’t wait to get your hands on a piece of this technology then you could check out the Staedtler Digital Pen. This intuitive ballpoint saves time by allowing you to record your notes or drawings by simply attaching the receiver to your page, when you’re ready transfer to a PC just download using a USB cable.

Other features

  • Capture up to 100 A4 pages
  • Refillable with standard D1 refills
  • 3 settings – choose from mobile, mouse or online modes
  • Recognises 30 languages
  • Easily manage files

I see digital pens as another tool, ideal for taking notes where laptops, phones or tablets are banned or where there’s a need for taking copius notes that need to be written up & stored digitally or emailed. Whether they will ever replace a pen or pencil is anyone’s guess.