Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Need a Gift Idea for the Holidays?

Okay - do you have any idea how difficult it is to write a post like this?  There are so many wonderful products and awesome vendors out there.

All of the items on this list (unless otherwise noted) fall into one of the following categories, I own it and use it or I have tried it. Many of the links are to reviews that I have done, other links are to the vendor or manufacturer website.

I have tried not to influence your decision regarding the vendor from which to buy the product, but in some cases the product is not mass produced and is only available from the manufacturer or from limited vendors, in all cases I have attempted to provide you with purchase options.


Edison Collier

I reviewed the Collier for Goldspot Pens in October.

What more can I say? I am a big fan of Brian Gray and the Edison Pen Company and I currently own two of his pens, with a third scheduled to arrive very soon.

The Collier has the distinguished honor of having been selected as the Goldspot Pen of the Year for 2011, a distinction which is well deserved. This pen is priced from $150 to  $275, depending upon the nib option.

You cannot go wrong if you chose this or one of the other Edison production line pens as a gift for the fountain pen person in your life (or for yourself). You could also be more daring, and spend a little more, if you want to have a custom pen made.

Visconti Homo Sapiens

I had to include this pen, as it continues to be one of my all time favorites.

The Homo Sapiens has been one of the most talked about pens around since it first came on the scene in 2010.  I reviewed this pen shortly after I acquired it and it continues to grace my pen case and desk as an almost daily user.

Just type Visconti Homo Sapiens into your search engine and you will find a wealth of information and sellers. Search well for the best price (but don't JUST opt for the lowest price, the seller is important) you might also find a used pen on Fountain Pen Classified.

Journals, Notebooks and Paper

In my humble opinion, you can NEVER go wrong if you choose a journal or notebook from Rhodia or QuoVadis. There are numerous retailers to choose from, pick your favorite and grab up Habanas or Webnotebooks and your paper loving person will be thrilled.  If you want something different take a look at the reviews that I have done over the past year or so.

There are a few other notebooks and journals which I would highly recommend.

  • Renaissance Art Leather Journals  - you cannot go wrong with the gift of one of these glorious handmade leather books, this is a gift that will be treasured forever

  • Banditapple Carnets - these little notebooks are wonderful!  They are extremely fountain pen friendly. You may purchase them directly by emailing Arnie Kim (company founder).  Because they are so reasonable priced to start with even with shipping they are still a bargain. There is currently no U.S. distributor but I did find one seller on eBay (no guarantee that they are still there by the time you read this). In Europe, you may purchase them from Paper and Co.  (I'll let you in on a secret, Arnie has emailed me that a package is on the way with the 2nd edition of the carnet - so stay tuned).

  • DayCraft Notebooks - this is another company with no current U.S. distributor but their products are available from VeraChan (in Australia). I also have several of the new 2012 line to review.  I will be doing that very soon.

  • Monsieur Notebooks - Again there is no current U.S. distributor, but they are available from Papernation in the UK. The sketchbooks are wonderful for all media, including a watercolor, and they have a fountain pen friendly edition of their notebooks.

  • French Paper Company Memo Books - hey guess what??? These notebooks are available in the U.S. These little memo books are pocket sized and the paper is wonderfully fountain pen friendly.

    Pen Cases and Holders

    • Penvelope from Franklin-Christoph - a wonderfully thoughtful gift for that fountain pen lover who wants a stylish and safe way to carry their favorite pens, it is also available in a 13 pen case

    • Quiver Pen Holders - single pen and double pen holders for those Webbies and Habanas that you bought earlier

    • Book Bandi - these are wonderful, especially if the journal you are using does not have an elastic to hold it closed

    • Journal Bandoliers - I just got one of these and I really like it. Ideal for the student or if you carry multiple notebooks


    This section will be short.  I own two bags which I adore.  I alternate using them.  They both hold a ton of stuff, my journals, sketch book, iPad, art supplies, pretty much anything that I might want to take with me.

    The Tom Bihn bags are extremely high quality and there are so many designs that I am sure you will find one to meet your needs.

    Other stuff 

    • If you have a vintage pen lover I can only recommend one place to go: Pendemonium. You will find all the vintage repair supplies and accessories that your vintage pen person might need. If you are not sure what they need just call Sam or Frank, I'm sure that they will be able to help.

    I want to share some of my favorite products from JetPens. If you are not familiar with JetPens, well - WHERE THE HECK HAVE YOU BEEN?? UNDER A ROCK?
    • Pentel Pocket Brush Pen - this pen is a delight to use and because it is completely refillable I can use whatever ink I like

    While I was writing this and looking through the JetPens site, I found several items that I would really like to try.

    Guess I'll have to put them on my wish list and try to get my family to read my blog.

    • Kokuyo Security Roller Stamp - I don't own a shredder, so I take everything to my office to shred, but I really like this idea.  $25 may seem expensive but a good shredder is a LOT more, even cheap shredders are this much or more, and they really do not last very long.

    Finally just a few other cool items (at least I think they are cool)

    • Rosetta Pencil Extenders from iPenStore. I acquired this when I accidently broke one of my drawing pencils, it allows me to continue to use the pencil, even if it is only a small stub.

    • Do you know a real pen hoarder collector?  If so you might consider a pen cabinet from Geoff Morris at Pen Case UK. Even with shipping from the U.K. these all wood cabinets are very reasonably priced.

    • Give a holiday gift every month for the next year (or longer) with a Lost Crates subscription. 

    • Do you have an artist or aspiring artist in the family?  Consider gift cards or items from Daniel Smith or Dick Blick

    • Is your resident pen person/artist a collector of stuff?  If so I highly recommend this cabinet from IKEA. I have this cabinet and it takes up minimal floor space while providing a huge amount of storage space, I absolutely love it.
    • Would your artist in residence or resident letter writer like to sign their artwork and letters with a personalized chop? You may order it for them or yourself from Sealstones.

    After all that I would like to take minute to share with you my recommendation for vendors for many of the products, pens, notebooks, etc which are on this list. I'm listing them alphabetically because I love all of these people and have purchased from all of them at one time or another.

    The vendors listed sell a variety or products and are not limited to one or two of the specialty products which I have featured in this post. I am in no way affiliated with any of them and you will receive excellent service from any of them.

    I am affiliated with Renaissance Art, Daniel Smith and Dick Blick and will receive a small commission if you order from them via any of the links on my website. Your use of those links is greatly appreciated.

    Ok, you stuck it out and read all of this really LOOOONG post. So I have a reward for you. Brad aka The Pen Addict has offered, to you my wonderful followers and commenters, a $10 gift card from.... you got it .... JetPens!!

    Let me remind you of the rules:

     1.  You must be a regular follower of my blog, either through Google, email or an RSS feed. Please just be honest and don't enter if you are not a regular follower.

    Please include in your comment what you are most thankful for this year as 2011 comes to a close, and if you have any additional suggestions for great pens, paper and ink gifts let me know.  

    3.  The deadline for comments in Saturday December 3, midnight US Eastern time.  The winner will be chosen using the great Random Number Generator and will be announced on Sunday December 4. 

    4.  Please leave an email address in your comment, I need a way to notify you if you are the winner.  If I don't know how to reach you, you will have 24 hours to respond, this is a time sensitive giveaway coming directly from JetPens.

    3.  You do NOT need to be a U.S. resident, I am thrilled to recognize my International readers as well and will ship worldwide.

    By the way, if you are in the U.S. -  Happy Thanksgiving!!


    Aisazia said...

    I'm thankful to finally graduate with my B.S. in Web Development with the support of my family and friends.

    Reluctant to leave my email in fear of spam but here goes!
    etherealvoices (at) gmail (dot) com

    Molossus said...

    Thank you for a wonderful list of products. Unfortunately, I forgot my drop cloth and drooled all over my keyboard!

    Greedy of me to enter, after winning 365 Things to Write About, but I'd love that $10 certificate from Jet Pens!

    MJ said...

    really now.. jet pens hardly gives away gift cards! hmmm how bout i follow you on twitter and click when i see new posts?

    laoriginaltec said...

    Happy Thanksgiving to you too!

    I am thankful for being able to find multiple part time jobs after being laid off, in this economy.

    torieliz (at) gmail (dot) com

    MJ said...

    btw, i hate you, well maybe not but.. i now have a new pen shop to frequent... Goulet pens, and jet pens weren't enough.. I now have added iPenStore to my pen haunts..

    Dick Davies said...

    Lovin' good list! I feel at Pilot HiTec C coming my way!

    Thank you,

    Emily said...

    Happy Thanksgiving!!

    I am thankful for my wonderful friends, family, my house, and so many other things. Im happy i am alive!

    elail213 [at] yahoo [dot] com

    Derrick said...

    very nice post always look forward to them. thinking about the lost crate sub.

    d2photo @ gmail . com

    Rori said...

    Holy crap, this post ROCKED. So many goodies :D I'm going to start saving--I want one of those penvelopes something fierce now...:D

    I'm grateful (as always) for healthy children.

    Happy Holidays, and thank you for such an awesome blog--I've spent HOURS on here in the last week ;o)

    Gentian said...

    Wonderful gift suggestions Julie! :) Hope you had a great Thanksgiving!! :D

    Azizah said...

    What a fantastic post! Full of great ideas!

    This was a very difficult year for me - I lost two cats suddenly and moved to Texas. I am very grateful for my sweet Ragdoll cat, Tyco, who made the move with us. He helps ease the loss and helps me feel a little less homesick!

    Thank you for the chance to win this great prize! (Yaay JetPens!)

    azizah.asgarali (at)

    Kevin Sunley said...

    I'm thankful for my wife, my job, most of our four cats, and the great year we've had.

    kevin.sunley (AT) gmail (D0T) com

    ginigin said...

    third try might be the charm. I keep getting weird error messages when I try to post. Most grateful for my son and that he lives nearby.

    Kyle said...

    I am thankful for my fiancée![at]gmail

    KjM said...

    Happy Thanksgiving to you Julie (if belatedly - just got back to the Bay Area early this evening).

    Thankful for yet another splendid and restful Thanksgiving, far from the madding crowd.

    You have some terrific items in this list - I really need to stay away from the Edison site. :-)

    Sara said...

    I am thankful for my friends and family. This year was a rough one but with all the love and support, I'm still kicking. ^^
    Thank you for the chance. :)

    Sarah said...

    I'm especially thankful for my extended family this year.

    scribblingsarah at gmail dot com

    I have one gift suggestion, it's not pens, paper or ink, but it is a great accessory for them. I received this lap type desk as a gift:

    And have really enjoyed using it for letter writing.

    JoniB said...

    There is so much going on in my life these days that it is hard to pick any one thing to be thankful for! So I'll just be thankful for each and every day.

    I'd add the Ex Libris (?) journals to your list. You know - the journals made from old books.

    joni dot bowers at gmail dot com

    Cheryl said...

    I am thankful for life as a new year comes along. We have had some close calls this year and we are looking at ending the year all together and in one piece :-).
    simply blogs at live dot com

    Pensive said...

    I am highly thankful for my amazing friends.

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