TBT: Dixon Ticonderoga Jingle

I stumbled upon this cool video, showing old Ticonderoga ads throughout the years all while using an old jingle as the soundtrack.

TBT: Blackwing 211

TBT: Blackwing 211

For this week's Throwback Thursday post, I thought I'd revisit one of the most coveted modern pencil releases: the Blackwing 211. Original released as the second in the Blackwing Volumes series, the 211 has become something of a grail pencil for some people. Let's find out why.

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TBT: Write Notepads Kindred Spirit

TBT: Write Notepads Kindred Spirit

The Write Notepads Kindred Spirit came out just before I started the blog. It's the edition I started my subscription on. I really loved this edition and promptly went out and bought the Lenore edition from someone on eBay. I knew these were special books and I needed to have them all.

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TBT: The 26 Old Characters

Here's an old educational film from Sheaffer about writing, the history of writing, and of course, how fountain pens work. I really love these vintage educational films, so much that I own a few (not that I have a projector!) from the archives at SIU-C. 

TBT: Vintage Tombow Ad

Here's a great little ad I found when searching the interwebs for Tombow 8900 imagery. Unfortunately, I found this on Pinterest and there was nothing on the click-through link, so I'm unable to attribute it to the original poster.

ICYMI: my Tombow 8900 review.

TBT: Field Notes Ambition

Perfect colors for fall.

Perfect colors for fall.

Looking back on the Ambition edition, I'm thinking there are a lot of loose singles out there. I know people love the planner and have bought packs just to get at that layout. And they'll use the others as daily carry books eventually, but the planner seems to be what buyers are looking for when Ambition editions are being requested in some of the online groups like Field Nuts.

Ambition comes in 3 different cover colors with 3 different layouts within: Olive Green Ledger, Burgundy Wine Graph, and the aforementioned Planner in Chocolate Brown. The layout of each book is printed in the standard "Double Knee Duck Canvas" ink that is in the Kraft books. It goes well with the gold gilded edges that are the most noticeable design element of the books.

According to the product listing, gilding the pages was the hardest and most interesting part of the printing process, and they show a little bit of it in the film. They had to gild the edges on 3 sides, then round the corners and gild those as well.

Golden corners.

Each of the 100# French Paper "Speckletone" covers are embossed with gold for the lettering and logo type. The cover colors are dark and muted, and this gold works perfectly on them. The inside covers are printed with this gold as well.  The paper inside is Cougar Opaque "Natural White" 50# text. You may remember the Byline using a heavier version of this paper, the 70#. It's got a nice touch of cream, just enough to soften the paper in harsh light. I'm a fan of this color of paper. At 50#, it's still not the best for fountain pens, not as good as the 70# in the Byline was, anyway. Fine nibs do ok, especially with inks that aren't super wet.

I'm not sure about carrying multiple pocket notebooks. I haven't gotten on the multi-book-holder-cover train yet. So for me, the planner will act more as a larger Standard Memorandum I keep at my desk, while I'll probably use the other 2 books like I would any pocket notebook. They seem to be going for about $35-$40 sealed on eBay at the moment, unsealed for about $10 less.

Unavailable, original listing over at Field Notes.

TBT: Fun Staedtler Mars Stuff

Admittedly, German pencil brands like Staedtler and Faber-Castell are not my forte. However, I did stumble across a few cool and fun Vintage Staedtler Mars images from around the web that I thought were worth sharing. They inspired me to try the pencils again. I got this set of 12 on Amazon.

My brain often needs a friend.

Love this calendar!

Can't tell if this is a postcard or what it is....

This is basically the best thing ever.

Logo from 1973. This is my favorite of all the different designs they've had over the years.

It's amazing how brands evolve.

TBT: Field Notes Drink Local

Field Notes Drink Local.

For this installment of Throwback Thursday, I thought it would be fun to take a look at the Field Notes Drink Local set. I didn't have the blog back when these first came out, so I plan to pull out an old edition from time to time and give them a proper review.

I used to work in the craft beer industry, so these are right up my alley. Field Notes and craft beer go hand-in-hand, and they have many of the same fans. I've been at many beer tastings and watched people putting tasting notes in their Field Notes. There's a stamp you can buy to make your blank Field Notes into a tasting journal. Heck, there's a whole notebook company built around pocket notebooks for various tastings. A beer edition of Field Notes was a no brainer, and I'm surprised it took them as long as it did.

Drink Local was one of those editions where you get 2 different 3-packs, or 6 different books in total. The covers are the colors of the 6 different beers they feature: Bock, Pilsner, & Pale Lager in the Lagers pack; Stout, Amber Ale, and IPA in the Ales pack. The logos are all in white except for the Pale Lager, which is such a light yellow that white would not show up. It looks to be the Bock brown on that one. The inside covers are all black with white printing. See the gallery pics below for the hilarious Practical Applications. The cover specs say New Page Sterling Premium 120#C "Dull" with a "soft touch" varnish and gloss-varnished logos. It feels like heavy paper printed on, then covered in something that gives it a rubbery feel. The closest thing I could think of is the cover of a Rhodia or the Blackwing Clutch. The gloss varnish for the logo is printed on last, and they did a hell of a job. My Bock book is a fraction off-register, but the rest of them are spot on. The corners are all rounded beautifully because this was prior to their printer switching to that new machine that has seemingly lowered their ability to get a good round corner.

All the Lagers.

Gold staples.

All the Ales.

The paper inside is the Finch Opaque Smooth 50#, which was the standard at the time. These days it's a little heavier at 60#. Instead of the normal brown lines, they use a "Hefeweizen" yellow. It is the normal graph layout. It might've been nice for them to make these beer tasting books with a specialty layout, but I can see that getting a TON of flack from the Nuts. I still hold out hope that they'll make something like this...I mean, they make the Flight Plan for crying out loud...more people drink beer than fly drones, I guarantee. I'm not doing a writing test here, but you know the drill: this paper was trash for all but the driest and finest of fountain pens, pretty much fine for everything else. And gold staples! They're shiny.

A cool drink coaster was packaged in the belly band of each pack. They did different ones for style of pack, though the differences are slight. I saw many branded coasters, of all shapes and sizes, in my time as a beer salesman...these are thick, quality coasters. Subscribers also got a "6-pack" holder, which was a piece of heavy stock you had to fold and could put both packs in it. Not useful, by any means, but cool and relevant to the theme.

Overall, these are nice books. In fact, I think I'm going to make the Bock my next daily carry book, once my Expedition Franken-book is finished. When I first got these, I used the Stout as an on-the-desk sketch journal and finished it in about 3 days, so I never got to experience how these would hold up in the pocket. I'm a big fan of beer and a big fan of Field Notes, so these are going to fit right in with my daily carry, and hopefully the cover coating will hold up to being accidentally set down on a mug ring at the bar.

Unavailable. Original product page on Field Notes.