Tuesday, April 27, 2010

My Favorite Singer and the Fan Letter

On my previous post, I put together my very first video. In choosing the the background music, I had wanted to use a track by my favorite singer Lorna Lim. The title of the track is Polinahe. Her voice is so sweet, so nahenahe! I've been a huge fan of Lorna for a very long time initially with The Lim Family of Kohala on the Big Island of Hawai`i. She is by far my favorite vocalist regardless of music genre, wahine or kane (female or male).

I literally had my dream come true when I got to meet her at a performance she and her group was doing at a mall to promote her then new CD release Polinahe. I had bought the download for the "album" on iTunes, but bought a CD that day so she could sign it...kinda hard for sign my iPod eh! I also bought a t-shirt and got my picture taken with her, truly one of the best days of my life!

Ok back to my video. I was quite aware that there may be problems if I publish something using copyrighted music without permission. So I contacted Palm Records to ask for permission to use the track and traded emails with them. Without going into detail they basically said no. I understand because I have friends who are in the music and recording industry so I repect that! So I purchased a royalty free track from an online source and it worked out quite well.

Perhaps if you want to see and hear what I had in mind, you can purchase a download of the track Polinahe or the entire album. Start my video, turn down the sound and listen to Polinahe on another player while watching the video.

Back to Lorna. I have always wanted to write her a "gushy" fan letter, but never knew where to send it to. In my corespondence with Palm Records, they told me to send it c/o to them and she would get it...yes!!! It paid to stick to my values!

So I wrote my "gushy" letter,

I hope she likes it!

Monday, April 26, 2010

The Dance of the Falcon

I've been thinking about creating a video of my writing with a flexible nib pen. When I write I often imagine that the pen is dancing. Sometmes the nib flashes as my desk light reflects off of it. Then I saw a video posted by my Twiiter friend @bleubug and was convinced I wanted to do it.

Here is my first ever attempt at putting together a video.

It was hard writing and holding the camera for parts of the movie. Once I got the tripod out I couldn't figure out how I could orient the camera for a better view. Also being camera shy, I couldn't concentrate on my writing while we were "rolling" film, so there were a few mistakes. But that's ok, after all it is handwritten, not word processed.

I hope you enjoy it!

Monday, April 19, 2010

# Daily Arsenal

On Twitter I always see #dailyarsenal on quite a number of posts. They are usually refering to writing instruments and paper (pads, notebooks, etc) that one uses for the day. I think I've finally settled on my daily arsenal.

On the left is my orange Lamy Safari that I got lucky and won a handwriting contest by Tiger Pens. I hadn't used it until now, but I recently purchased a 1.5 calligraphy nib from The Honolulu Pen Shop and installed it. I want to load it with a nice orange ink which I am looking for right now. In the meantime I've inked it with Pelikan Brown. I'm normally a pointed pen writer so a broad edged italic nib will be an adjustment for me.

Next is my Pilot Falcon. That I would say is my main pen for correspondence and I've blogged about it here.

That colorful ballpoint I bought from a pen maker on Etsy. The colors caught my eye and it is comfortable in my hand. I guess it's like food, if it looks good it will taste better...if the pen looks nice and feels good it enhances my writing experience.

The black fountain pen second from the right is a Platinum. I bought it because it had a Music nib on it, but I swapped the Music on to a Platinum Urushi I bought from Pendemonium a few years ago. I put this pen with the nib from the Urushi on the side without considering how good the nib was. I recently took it out and inked it, I was surprised at how smooth that nib writes. I now use it to write when I don't want to focus on writing in script with the flexible Falcon and just...write!. I hope to use it for sketching also.

On the far right is a Sailor brush pen that I bought in Japan because I thought it was so cool. Opened it recently because I've become interested in sketching and have gotten some advice on using a brush instead of a pen or pencil.

Oh it may change I'm sure, but it is truly me daily arsenal. I carry it in my backpack wherever I go.

I also carry the obligatory cheap ballpoint pen in case someone asks to borrow a pen. I will be attending a diabetes conference this weekend, I'm hoping I will score more nice free drug rep pens since they don't give them out to the doctors anymore.

For writing media I carry a few Moleskine journals around with me. I didn't take any pictures because they aren't very photogenic-well mines aren't anyway. There are some fantastic Moleskine covers out there done by artists of which I am not...yet. I also try to carry some small note cards from Papyrus in the event I want to leave a nice note perhaps after recieving outstanding service from someone.

I also need to mention my iPhone as part of my daily arsenal which seems to be glued to my hand and needs to be charged two to three times a day.

By the way, I don't understand why it's called the daily arsenal on Twitter. Most posts seem to say that they have something different everyday, wouldn't that make it "#arsenaloftheday" instead?

Gah! Who am I to change things like that?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Fisher Hawaii

A few weeks ago my Twitter friend @Bleubug put up a post on his blog about his visit to John Neal Books. Being a wanna be calligrapher myself, I was quite jealous because John Neal is a great source of calligraphy supplies like inks, pens, papers and resource books. Not just for calligraphy but almost anything to satisfy a pen and paper nut like myself!

Well his description of the location reminded me of a local office supply store here in Honolulu called Fisher Hawaii. It is far from the nice posh air conditioned big box office supply stores nearby. The building is constructed of corrugated metal, it is not air conditioned, and can be a bit dusty inside. But there is almost unlimited treasures for pen and paper aficionados!

I didn't think I was going to blog about Fisher, so I didn't bring my camera in to the store with me. After I got in I changed my mind but was too lazy to get my camera so I used my iPhone. Please forgive the less than stellar pics!

The Grand Entrance!

As soon as you walk in you are greeted by a "wall" of pens. This picture was out of focus so I shamelessly used a Photoshop filter. Aross this shelf there is a glass display case with "high end" pens like Namiki, Parker, Cross and others. Oh there are wristwatches too.

Around the first corner, did I say there were a lot of pens?

I went that day to purchase a sketchbook. Here is one of the aisles of art supplies.

Did I mention there is no air conditioning?

The great thing about Fisher is they are quite diverse. They offer a lot of the usual office supplies, and they have business machine and office furniture sections. They're a great source for backpacks too. But can any other office supply beat this?

Maybe this is why the line into the parking lot spills out onto the street when their add flyer comes out in a local newspaper. Unfortunately there's not enough room on this blog to mention everything Fisher has to offer.

Oh and when you leave their parking lot, there's Jellys across the street where you can buy and sell used books and music.

All smack in the center the Kaka`ako industrial district of Honolulu!

Iroshizuku kon-peki Fountain Pen Ink by Pilot

A few weeks ago I received my Pilot Falcon fountain pen.

Since then I have been patiently waiting for the Honolulu Pen Shop to get a shipment of Iroshizuku inks. Well I finally got the call and I purchased a bottle of Iroshizuku kon-peki.

Pilot describes kon-peki as "Deep Cerulean Blue-expresses the color of a vast and clear summer sky". I looked up kon and peki in my Japanese English Dictionary and could not find either word.

Disclaimer: I am not an ink expert! There are a lot of pen/ink bloggers out there who do a fantastic job of reviewing inks. They report on color, drying time, bleed through, flow, feathering, etc. I'm not able to do that. If it writes poorly on one kind of paper, I'll look for another. If it writes poorly in a certain pen, I'll load another. I liken this to a story I read about wine tasting. There are experts who use terms like nose, fruit, dryness, etc. I heard in Italy it's...mmm taste good!

Both have their places!

Well on to my take of kon-peki!

I've never heard of Rhodia notebooks before, but thanks to my pen, paper and ink friends on Twitter, I now know! So I went to the local Target Store and bought a Rhodia Reverse Book.

Ths paper is darn nice! Smooth and takes the kon-peki quite well!

I love it when the inkflow causes differences that look like shading!

Does it look like the clear summer sky? Pretty darn close I'd say!

Well that's it, that's my "review"...nothing fancy. I will be attempting to put together a video using the Falcon/kon-peki combo and posting it here hopefully soon, but it is a learning process for me.

I'm waiting for another color to come in, don't remember the name. I was given a small amount to try so I used a dip pen, here's a preview.

Oh if you're worried about smearing the ink because it took too long to dry, one of these may help.

Until next time I remain,

Very Truly yours!