julesjones: (Default)
In the never ending quest to tidy my room, I decided to have a cull of the pen herd. I have many, many pens of various types accumulated over the years, some dating back to when I was at university [mumble] years ago. I can tell, because they're in the biscuit tin I used as a pen case.

I was going to be ruthless about throwing out the ones that didn't work anymore, but some of the ancient and venerable have sentimental value, or are promo pens in a barrel style that I find very comfortable to use, so I set about investigating the availability of refills.

First port of call was the Cult Pens website, a wondrous cavern of everything pen. It turned out they were having a three for two special deal on Schneider products, and Schneider make All the Refills, or pretty close to it. I already had a Schneider disposable courtesy of a sample in a previous order, so I knew they made decent cheap pens. Cue buying binge…

I needed a selection of refills, and I haven't had a chance to do much with most of them yet, but so far -- nice refills. They write smoothly and don't need much pressure to get them started. I really like the Slider 755, which is a Parker style G2 filled with Schneider's ViscoGlide hybrid ink. It writes very smoothly with no skipping and almost no pressure once it gets going, but can write on gloss paper without smearing even if it gets wet. It's described as combining the best features of ballpoint and gel pens. It's moderately expensive but I think well worth it if it continues to perform like this. I do love my fountain pens for not needing any pressure to write, but this refill comes close and is waterproof to boot.

The refills are all clearly labelled with brand, model number, colour and tip size, even the tiny D1 format multipen refills. This might not sound important, but when you've just opened an envelope full of miscellaneous loose refills, it's very useful for matching refill to pen. Definitely for my "buy again" list.

You can find the Schneider range in lots of pen shops, and as of the time of writing there is still a three for two offer at Cult Pens for the entire range.
julesjones: (Default)
"The time has come," the Walrus said,
"To talk of many things:
Of fountain pens and sealing wax
of binding combs and rings."

I've been on a bit of a binge on stationery and office supplies of late for a number of reasons. Chief amongst these is the latest medical reason for staying away from a computer, but it doesn't help that the WIP features a hero with a passion for pens beyond even that seen in racsf's collective obsession with writing paraphernalia. I can't type, but I can put ink on paper and dictate the results into Dragon, and only look at the screen to set the transcription running and then error-correct the result. I have a genuine justification for having acquired a breeding herd of fountain pens over the last few months, inasmuch as a good fountain pen needs no pressure at all to glide over the page, and this is an important consideration for those with RSI. All of this is to explain why there may be stationery-related wibble in lieu of anything else I can focus on for long enough to write a blog post. You have been warned.
julesjones: (Default)
of particular interest to the UK-resident stationery fetishists of rafsc, and probably a few others of you as well:

Announcing a fantastic opportunity to create a mural at Cult Pens HQ using Uni POSCA Markers. Win £1000-worth of POSCA Markers and an expenses-paid trip to beautiful Devon to turn the winning design into reality.


Full details at http://www.cultpens.com/blog/20120525/make-your-mark-at-cult-pens-with-uni-posca/
julesjones: (Default)
Pen webshop Cult Pens has a blog, with a post every month or two about some aspect of pen geekery. I have the feed on my LJ/DW flists, just so that I don't have to remember to go and check it for new posts. The latest post is about the fun to be had with the Pilot FriXion erasable pen, and a little bit about the technology behind the pen. Definitely something the pen fetishists on my flist should have a look at. :-)
julesjones: Suzanne Palmer's cat-vacuuming icon for rasfc (cat-vacuuming)
I occasionally read pen porn, i.e. geeky reviews of pens I know in my heart I'm never going to buy, but I can still fantasise about. Having lost a bookmark for a blog, I was trying to Google it, and found a link to the best pen review ever. The Amazon reviewers have been having a little... fun... with the "Bic Crystal Ballpoint Pen, Medium Point, Black" review section. :-)
julesjones: (Default)
I stumbled over the Cult Pens website a couple of years ago when I was looking for a mail order source for my beloved Pentel R56 rollerballs. I promptly bookmarked it for future use, but hadn't got around to ordering anything from them until a couple of weeks ago.

They stock a *lot* of different pens and pencils. More to the point, they stock the refills and accessories for them as well. You can buy both singly and by the box. The site has plenty of information on each line stocked, usually with their own commentary and not just the blurb from the manufacturer. It is obvious from the commentary that this place is run by pen geeks.

The sheer number of product lines makes navigating the site a slightly daunting task, but it's well laid out into sections by manufacturer, and there is a useful interactive selection guide where you can put in the features you want and what you intend to use it for, and get back recommendations. There are also very good articles on mechanical pencils and technical pens, with an in-depth look at the different types and features, and recommendations for different uses at price brackets ranging from budget to extravagant.

The prices are shown both with and without VAT. UK shipping is simple -- if your order is under 10 pounds, it's 1.50, over that it's free. They also ship internationally, with VAT deducted where appropriate.

The prices are reasonable, but generally not hugely cheap. I'm fairly sure I could have got most of the things I ordered a little bit cheaper by shopping around. But the advantage of using this site was that I could get everything at one site, all at a reasonable price, with clear information that let me decide whether it would do the job I wanted it for. I ordered 8 individual items and one box of a dozen black R50 rollerballs (which were in the Office Essentials, a small selection of nice office pens on heavy discount).

The shopping basket is reasonably easy to use. One thing I particularly liked was that I could leave it for a couple of hours, come back, and find the basket still there. I find it annoying when a basket times out after ten minutes or so -- this is a security precaution which is useful when you have to sign into an account before you start shopping, but is simply a nuisance when the site doesn't have any of your personal information until you actually check out. The main payment method is debit or credit card, but you can also generate an order from the basket and then select "cheque" as payment method if you want to pay by post using UK cheque or postal order.

I ordered on Sunday evening, received a clear and detailed delivery note with full UK VAT receipt by email immediately, and my parcel was with me on Tuesday morning via first class post. The items were packed loose in an appropriately sized bubble mailer, without any padding inside the envelope, along with a paper copy of the delivery note. I'd hope that more expensive items would have a bit more protection, but for the items I'd ordered this was fine.

I like this site, and will be ordering from them again. The only problem is the sheer amount of temptation one has to resist. :-)

ETA: One of the people at Cult Pens has commented on the copy of the post on my WordPress bookblog, and notes "For more expensive or breakable items, we do use extra packing, or even box them. If items were arriving broken, it would cost us too much to keep replacing them."
julesjones: (Default)
I stumbled over the Cult Pens website a couple of years ago when I was looking for a mail order source for my beloved Pentel R56 rollerballs. I promptly bookmarked it for future use, but hadn't got around to ordering anything from them until a couple of weeks ago.

They stock a *lot* of different pens and pencils. More to the point, they stock the refills and accessories for them as well. You can buy both singly and by the box. The site has plenty of information on each line stocked, usually with their own commentary and not just the blurb from the manufacturer. It is obvious from the commentary that this place is run by pen geeks.

The sheer number of product lines makes navigating the site a slightly daunting task, but it's well laid out into sections by manufacturer, and there is a useful interactive selection guide where you can put in the features you want and what you intend to use it for, and get back recommendations. There are also very good articles on mechanical pencils and technical pens, with an in-depth look at the different types and features, and recommendations for different uses at price brackets ranging from budget to extravagant.

The prices are shown both with and without VAT. UK shipping is simple -- if your order is under 10 pounds, it's 1.50, over that it's free. They also ship internationally, with VAT deducted where appropriate.

The prices are reasonable, but generally not hugely cheap. I'm fairly sure I could have got most of the things I ordered a little bit cheaper by shopping around. But the advantage of using this site was that I could get everything at one site, all at a reasonable price, with clear information that let me decide whether it would do the job I wanted it for. I ordered 8 individual items and one box of a dozen black R50 rollerballs (which were in the Office Essentials, a small selection of nice office pens on heavy discount).

The shopping basket is reasonably easy to use. One thing I particularly liked was that I could leave it for a couple of hours, come back, and find the basket still there. I find it annoying when a basket times out after ten minutes or so -- this is a security precaution which is useful when you have to sign into an account before you start shopping, but is simply a nuisance when the site doesn't have any of your personal information until you actually check out. The main payment method is debit or credit card, but you can also generate an order from the basket and then select "cheque" as payment method if you want to pay by post using UK cheque or postal order.

I ordered on Sunday evening, received a clear and detailed delivery note with full UK VAT receipt by email immediately, and my parcel was with me on Tuesday morning via first class post. The items were packed loose in an appropriately sized bubble mailer, without any padding inside the envelope, along with a paper copy of the delivery note. I'd hope that more expensive items would have a bit more protection, but for the items I'd ordered this was fine.

I like this site, and will be ordering from them again. The only problem is the sheer amount of temptation one has to resist. :-)

ETA: One of the people at Cult Pens has commented on the copy of the post on my WordPress bookblog, and notes "For more expensive or breakable items, we do use extra packing, or even box them. If items were arriving broken, it would cost us too much to keep replacing them."
julesjones: (Default)
I just went over to Cult Pens, and on the front page they were advertising a shiny new cheap fountain pen from Platinum -- with colour coded nibs, and cheap enough to buy the set of exotic colours. Takes a standard Platinum cartridge.

http://www.cultpens.com/acatalog/Platinum-Preppy-03-Fine.html

I'm usually a Parker girl, but these things? Shiny.
julesjones: (Default)
[Note: this post will not make sense to about 3/4 of you. Don't worry about it.]

One of the other things I miss about rasfc-as-was? The pen porn. Can't remember the last time I saw a good stationery fetish post...

This thought brought to you by a stationery fetish post just seen on rasfc-the-LJ-filter.
julesjones: (Default)
Having just Googled for a supplier of my favourite editing pen, Pentel's R56 rollerball in red, I stumbled into this purveyor of all things pennish:

http://www.cultpens.com/

*Serious* stocking of all those hard to find refills and exotic ink colours, as well as the pens themselves.

Bookmarked...

Pen porn

Aug. 4th, 2007 10:32 am
julesjones: (Default)
Started clearing out the Westercon detritus from my con bag, and found the business card from the person who makes handcrafted pens in woods and fancy plastics. These are utterly gorgeous, and I have enough pen fetishists on my flist that I thought I should get her catalogue URL. Of course, I may not be thanked for providing a new way to spend money on something people don't really *need*, but want. :-)

Index page
http://www.foxtrot-designs.com/pens/index.html

Current catalogue:
http://www.foxtrot-designs.com/pens/pages/currentcatalog.html

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