Monday was a productive day and I had a real nice selection of pens to choose from… not my entire arsenal but a great sampling.
I decided to give my Staples OptiFlow in blue a good workout.
House brands are not a sure thing. I am happy to report that Staples got it right with these. The pack of 6 pack includes 2 black and blue and one each in red and green. They are a 0.5mm rollerball with a slightly thicker than average barrel. The cap posts securely and makes a nice solid click sound when replaced.
The blue ink is a true blue. The 0.5mm line is average for the size and can be seen next to the black UniBall Vision 0.7mm in the pics. I haven’t experienced any skipping or trouble writing with these pens yet and I don’t foresee any issues in the future.
Wednesdays are my days off and I like to try to do something fun. Today Matt and I went to the laundry. I decided to work on my pirates and socks combo idea. I am happy to share the results with you.
I would have liked to have had a Sharpie or Mark-It with me. I think a thicker line would have been much nicer BUT I am going to keep working on this idea so stay tuned.
I also filled a page with some cute doodles of robots, shapes with faces, a flying bird, a monkey and other fun stuff. I drew these with my Uniball Vision 0.7mm and accented with a pink Pilot G2 mini and Papermate gel pens.
Do you see my doodles getting looser and more free? I feel it when I grab my pen and place the tip to the paper. I no longer pre-criticize and censor. I just let it happen and work with it. I don’t tense up and think about messing up the shapes or ideas.
Lastly, I had to share this. Monday at work I found a piece of newsprint with a message for us all. It made me smile… life is short and we should try to have some fun every day.
Take care and be well.
As some of you may know, my Friday left a lot to be desired.
I spent my time in school preparing myself for a career in art. In college, a professor told us that a slim percentage of us art majors would work in the field. I graduated with my BA in studio art and began my quest. I was laid off in 2004 from a job devoid of art and again a couple of years later from a job that was semi-art related. After finding a new job that would allow my artistic side to shine, I thought I could settle in and let things develop. I now find myself at an impasse. I will figure it all out but right now I feel that static energy deep in my gut that reminds me of the hard times I put behind me.
I drew up a quick card for my coworker Leslie yesterday. I used my Super Sharpie. I don’t often grab the jumbo sized but it felt like a good day to be armed with a super-sized permanent marker. Leslie enjoyed the card since things have been stressful and unpleasant recently in her world too. I included the caterpillar on the inside because the one on the doodle page from before got such a big reaction from her. :]
My recent jump back into doodling must have knocked something lose because I keep coming up with different ideas for goofy-doodle-esque creatures. Nothing too heavy or involved, nothing serious or realistic. Here are two more that have fallen out of my Uniball Vision pens.
It’s liberating to feel I didn’t make any errors and no criticism is likely since these are silly doodle monsters that can be anything I want. I can be very hard on myself – a person’s worse critic is often themselves after all. But in doodle-mode I can set seriousness and troubled thoughts aside and just doodle myself happy again.
I hope you all have a great weekend.
Take care and be well.
It’s challenging for me to balance out my life and unfortunately art often falls by the wayside. It depresses me when I do a mental tally of days since I last held a pencil or paintbrush and I can’t even recall. In efforts to rejoin the art world, I declared today a Doodle Day…
I grabbed my Pentel click eraser and my new Apex mechanical pencil and got to doodling this morning after a few games of Scramble.
Matt and I ran our errands, grabbed some lunch at OCB (Old Country Buffet) and I doodled at every possible moment.
After a stop at my parents and quite a few rounds of Boggle, we came home and took Iggy Pup for a nice walk. The weather today was so nice compared to the rainy and cold of yesterday and Monday. Iggy and I went back out and I did some more doodling while he watched the yard and neighborhood. He also insisted on taste testing the dirt and dry leaves from last fall. mmm yum.
Yeah I have a thing for monkeys who throw poop and robots and odd shapes with cute lil faces. I can’t help it…
The point of all this was to get something out – even if it won’t be framed or takes me less time to draw it than it does for me to cap the pen afterward. Don’t let yourself criticize your own doodles. I find I have to struggle to keep my inner critic quiet but once I place duct tape over her big mouth, I have a lot of fun. I encourage you to grab a pen or pencil and doodle something – anything. See if you don’t feel lighter after.
Take care and be well. Also – Happy Earth Day!
It’s been awhile … my apologies for not posting. The good news is I’ve added to my arsenal. More pens = happy!
First I need to show you my newest disposable fountain pen – the Itoya Blade. I opted for blue ink since I have a Pilot Varsity in Black.
The pen is slightly thinner and longer than the Varsity. I find it very comfortable to hold. The nib is much finer than the Varsity (US variety). The ink comes out smoothly and there is very little “noise” while writing. The blue is a great shade, not to light or dark. I really enjoy this pen!
Both the Varsity and Blade offer a inexpensive entry into the world of fountain pens. They sport visible ink supplies and smooth writing experiences. Varsity pens can be “hacked” and refilled with the fountain pen ink of your choice. Unfortunately every Itoya Blade hack attempt I have read about failed and resulted in the disposal of this disposable fountain pen. If anyone knows of a success in refilling one, please let me know.
The next addition to my arsenal is the pack of Uniball Signo 207s in 8 marvelous silky gel inks. I have been debating on this purchase for a LONG time. I broke out my black 207 0.7mm for work last week and fell in love with the silky gel ink. That did it – something so smooth and in pretty colors cannot be bad, right?
The pack includes Light Blue, Orange, Green, Pink, Purple, Red, Blue and Black. This picture below is off a bit but you get the gist of the colors. The pink is too neon for my liking. I just want a pink gel pen that I can write with without burning my retinas or straining myself into blindness. Any recommendations? Also, the pink seems to write a finer line that the other colors. Maybe its an illusion because the color is so much lighter. The purple is quite dark but rich, I’m pretty sure it will grow on me. The orange is yummy and I’m addicted to it – surprised?
I used to green on Friday. It was a deadline day but green just felt right. Maybe its my longing for my time in the garden and for leaves on the trees.
Iggy and I had some time to just relax and surf the web yesterday. We took the chance to get our three Pilot Varsity fountain pens up and writing again. Both had sat unused for awhile and just needed a dip in good old fashioned water. Thanks to all the people who gave me hints – the purple was/is the fussiest.
Varsity pens are a great way to enjoy the fountain pen world without spending a lot of money or having a heart attack every time you misplace one. (My Levenger fountain pen from Matt is going to be kept safe and sound here at home so I never have to worry).
Finances are no fun these days. I can almost hear the chorus of “Amen”s from across the globe. My JetPens order is taking a back seat but I have my list. My list of “Going To Have” pens – and it is VERY exciting to me. I’m such a nerd – just the thought of getting my hands on new uber elite writing utensils gives me the squees. I want to thank everyone for the outpouring of advice and recommendations!
I worked on my crochet zig-zag ripple yellow and blue blanket today. No major progress so I didn’t snap a picture. I really didn’t do anything worth snapping a picture of this weekend. Unless you’d like to see the pile of sprouted maple seeds I pulled out of my gardens or an after shot of the fish bowls I cleaned or the toilet I made sparkle. (I loathe cleaning toilets, don’t you?)
I spent time with my family today and it was wonderful. My nephews are fifteen this year and it blows my mind how time flies. My journaling lately is filled with thoughts about time and aging. Writing with my Varsity last night made me realize that I would like to improve my penmanship. There is no time like the present. I know I need to practice being more loose and relaxed while I write – which will help my tendinitis dramatically I imagine. Does anyone have any tips or links to share?
All in all, this weekend was a good one. I look forward to picking up a pen or two or three and starting the week right tomorrow.
Take care and be well.
Today began with an indecisive visit to my pen stash… What did today feel like? Fine point black ink? blue ink? medium point? Color? I grabbed a handful… actually selected one by one an entire handful of pens and set off to work.
My selected stash included: Pilot G2 0.7 black, Bic Triumph 730R black, Uniball Jetstream blue, Pilot Precise V5 black, Pentel Energel Fine black, Sharpie Pen black, Uniball Signo 207 blue, Pilot Precise V5 retractable black and on top is a G2 in brown.
I wrote in my Markings journal last night with the brown G2. I like the brown ink on the cream pages. But it wasn’t right for work. I hesitated to make my selection until I had something to write. I finally grabbed the Sharpie pen in black.
There has been a lot of buzz about these pens. Sharpie in pen form that doesn’t bleed through paper is great. I find them reliable and good for art and writing. The barrel shape is quite narrow which doesn’t match my mood some days but when it does, these pens are reliable and never fail to write well.
I am pretty attentive to details and not long after uncapping the pen, I realized there were some significant dents in the barrel. I’m disappointed. This pen has been safely stored in a pen case at home or in my purse. Unless there are some mini-ninjas in my purse beating up my writing utensils, this damage happened during what I consider normal conditions.
Has anyone else run into this? I was contemplating buying the multi color set at Office Depot which includes black, blue, red, green, purple and orange. But now I am not so sure.
One pack of Pilot G2 in the newly available 0.38mm tip. I had to try them… didn’t I? I was on a quest to find the Uniball Signo 207 needle point pens in orange but had no luck. I did find a retractable Tul gel pen in orange and a Tul ultra fine marker in orange at the registers. (open stock single pens – yay!) Yes I have an orange fetish these days… Can you blame me? Its cheery bright and legible otherwise it would probably be yellow calling my name all the time. I did pick up the big pack of Pilot G2 pens but put it down again. I have almost all the colors in there but the orange… I do want the orange one but so many repeats. Does anyone know of pen exchange program?
Another component of my daily arsenal was one of the tatoos that came with the egg dying kit we used yesterday. I put it on the back of my hand thinking maybe it would last through the afternoon. I can’t believe it survived through a shower and my neurotic hand washing today!
Just another little reminder that spring is here and flowers SHOULD start blooming one of these days.
Take care and be well.
Sunday was laundry day. I’m sure many of you have enjoyed the adventure of going to a public laundry. I packed up my Sharpie Ultra Fine marker & Sharpie pen, Prang Fine Line Markers, and my sketchbook and we set out. I managed to get three “doodles” done. Two were more sketch-like than I have done in the past. All of them play with activating negative space and color.
The sketchbook I brought is a 6 by 6 inch wire bound “Reflexions” that I purchased at Hobby Lobby. I do not care for how the paper takes the Prang Fine Line markers. I noticed quite a bit of feathering and bleeding of colors into one another. I had not run into that when I had used Bic permanent markers earlier. I also had no issue using watercolor washes in this sketchbook. Live and learn, right? In the future I will try some colored pencils and see how things look.
The Sharpie Ultra Fine is a great marker. I wish it were just a tad bit finer. I plan on doing a comparison of “Ultra Fine” markers one of these days. I found it difficult to get as fine of a line as I initially wanted and almost switched over to the Sharpie pen but resisted the urge. The Prang markers were inexpensive and I like the bold colors. One complaint I have is that the blue and purple are way too similar. I feel this ruined the first “doodle” of the day.
Yesterday was another deadline day. I wasn’t sure what pen I was going to grab on my way out the door … Monday night I had considered my fushia Flair or my pink Sarasa. When the time came, I tossed my purple Magna Tank 0.5mm in my bag and headed to work.
These pens are made by Peachtree Playthings and bare the name INC. The set of blue, black, red, green and purple can be purchased at Wal-Mart. I have also found 2 packs of just the black and blue at the local dollar store.
The pens have a nice needle tip and substantial barrel. There is a nice grip area and the cap posts solidly. There is some drag when writing with these pens but it is not an unpleasant experience. The gel ink is smooth and the line is consistent. I haven’t run into any skipping or blobbing. This pen was a great choice for a deadline Tuesday.
The above photo shows writing samples for both the 0.5mm Magna Tank in purple and the Liquid Expresso in blue that I utilized yesterday. As I stated yesterday, for a medium liquid ink pen, the Expresso does a great job letting you write small in small places.
Today my arsenal included my Uniball Signo 207 again and EASTER EGG DYE!!! I know – egg dying is aimed at children younger than 29. Oh well :] Matt and I visited my parents for egg decorating and some Boggle.
We brought home 11 eggs … They may not look like much but our eggs are artistic and ma’velous. Most of the extra special ones are still at my parent’s. I think they sent us home with the ‘rejects’ lol.
Boggle is a serious game in my family. Everyone plays for keeps. Mom usually laughs because I dig my pen of choice out of my purse before we begin. Today it was the Signo 207 Micro in blue. I won a fair number of games so it must have been the right choice.
There, now we are all caught up :] Are you enjoying these “Daily Arsenal” posts? Want to share what pen you used today and why? Feel free to leave a comment.
Take care and be well.