Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Working In The Dark

Hurricane Irene hit our area as a tropical storm on Saturday, and it hit pretty hard. We were fortunate enough to escape any major damage, but we've been without power since then. When the storm hit this past weekend, more than 3/4 of our Richmond Metro area was without power, and it's still only about half of the city that has power because there were so many downed trees that fell on power lines. We're projected to get our power working again tomorrow night, and we're quite excited about that.

We've had an adventure working this week. We set up our camp over at may parents' house about 15 minutes away (they have power), and that's where we're doing all of our printing of invoices and shipping labels. We've been packing orders up at our shop like normal, but since we have no power there we've had to light up the shop with flashlights and headlamps as we work. Once we're done packing, we have to cart them over to my parents' to print the shipping labels, then swing by the post office to drop them off. It's become quite the operation! Because we've been so quick to adapt and find a new groove, we've been able to continue full operation of the business without hardly skipping a beat. We even have Ink Drop going out as scheduled tomorrow.

The only problem is, we still have no power so we won't be able to broadcast Write Time tonight, and I haven't been able to blog anything other than quick updates like these, or answer emails throughout the day. Keeping the daily operation up and going with all of the roadblocks we've had has required our full attention and we've been putting in a lot of extra work. Once we get power back and are able to settle down a little bit, we should get back into a normal routine of blogging and doing videos again.

Please bear with us as we get through these last couple of days of recovery from the storm, especially with my emails because I don't have internet during the day when I'm at the shop until the power comes back on.

Thanks to all of you for your prayers and support. We've had awesome support on threads like this one on FPN making sure we're okay. I assure you, we're doing fine, but we are eager to have things back to 'normal', whatever that is for us! We should be back for Write Time next week, and I'll be able to blog about the new Noodler's Ahab Flex Pens coming, the TWSBI 540, PR DC Super Violet, JB's Pen Flush, our new Podcast, and more exciting stuff we've been doing.

**Update 9/3/11- We finally have power again! We went over 5 days without power, and we're happy to say we're no worse for the wear. We still kept up will all orders coming in, and I'm really looking forward to a relaxing weekend. I appreciate all your patience on the blog, as Ink Nouveau has suffered the most from this storm! I will take this weekend to rejuvenate myself, and I'll be back next week with fervor :)

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Earthquake and a Hurricane in one week!

We already had an earthquake earlier this week, something QUITE unusual around here in central Virginia. Now we're facing Irene, one of the gnarliest hurricanes to hit the East Coast in years. Thankfully we're located a couple of hours inland from the coast, so it's technically a tropical storm where we are. We already lost power earlier today and I wouldn't be surprised if we lost it again. The best way to reach Rachel and me (Brian) is to send us an email and we'll respond back to you as soon as we can. We're not anticipating major damage or anything, and we have prepared for it, so don't worry about us too much. We just wanted to keep you up to date :)

Update as of 11:17am Sunday 8/28 - Our house and shop are still without power, but thankfully there was absolutely no damage to either. My parents live about 10 minutes away and they have power, so we're camping out there for now. We'll still be able to pack and ship orders as usual, we'll just need to print invoices and labels at my parent's house. It'll be a little crazy, but we'll keep on trucking! Thanks everyone for your thoughts and prayers, there is a lot of devastation and there will be a lot more all along the East Coast.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Write Time 8/24/11, with recorded chat!!

For those who still like the 'old' format of the video, here it is too:

Watch live video from Write Time at 9 on Justin.tv

It's a first for Write Time, a recorded chat! We finally figured out how to do a screen capture recording while doing the live broadcast, which allows you to see the chat after the fact. Yay! The audio's not quite synched up, which bothers me but not enough to import it, adjust it, export it, and reupload it to YouTube, so you'll just have to deal with that :P I'll see if I can do anything to fix that for next week.

I'll be honest, it's a lot of work to do the screen capture with the chat recording, and the results were not quite what I was hoping for. I have been getting a lot of feedback that the old way was better, and it's certainly less time and effort for me to leave the recordings the way they were instead of doing them with the chat. If you like the chat, speak up, because unless I get some really positive feedback about it, I don't think I'll continue doing it.

Here's everything we covered (basically):

  • TWSBI 540 to land soon!
  • Kaweco (new Classic Sport and ICE Sport colors, calligraphy sets)
  • Lamy (new pen colors)
  • Private Reserve DC Super Violet ink
  • Sheaffer 100's, 300's, Prelude's, and VFM's
  • J.B.'s Perfect Pen Flush
  • Taccia pens (Savanna, Doric, Legato)
  • Wood pen cases (trying to gauge interest in them)
  • Setting up an Ink Nouveau podcast (yup, it's happening)
  • September Ink Drop theme announcement
  • The Goulet Outlét clearance deals, what's up with that?!

Thanks to everyone who joined us live, it was fun as always :) 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Write Time Topics: 8/24/11

It's time again for another Write Time with me (Brian) and Rachel Goulet. Come and visit us here at 9pm EDT tonight to talk about:
  • TWSBI 540 to land soon!
  • Kaweco (new Classic Sport and ICE Sport colors, calligraphy sets)
  • Lamy (new pen colors)
  • Private Reserve DC Super Violet ink
  • Sheaffer 100's, 300's, Prelude's, and VFM's
  • J.B.'s Perfect Pen Flush
  • Taccia pens (Savanna, Doric, Legato)
  • Wood pen cases (trying to gauge interest in them)
  • Setting up an Ink Nouveau podcast (yup, it's happening)
  • September Ink Drop theme announcement
  • The Goulet Outlét clearance deals, what's up with that?!
Plus more, as time allows! Wow....we're going to have another busy broadcast...

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

We Got a Little Shaken Up Today...

Something quite unusual for Central Virginia, we experienced the first earthquake that I can remember in my lifetime! The epicenter hit about 30 miles west of our GPC shop, and we're told it was a 5.9, the largest quake to hit Virginia since 1897!

The Washington Post has writeup about it, here.

We had some pretty scary shaking going on, but no harm done to anyone or anything at GPC headquarters. Our house and shop was visibly shaking, and we could see our cars rocking back and forth in the driveway. Things were moving on our walls, but nothing fell. We could feel the quake for a total of about 20-25 seconds, with 10 seconds of some pretty aggressive shaking. Everyone around central Virginia is kind of freaking out a little bit because this just isn't the kind of thing that happens around here every day. Our phone service is intermittent, but for right now our power and internet is all working as normal, so we'll continue working as usual.

We just wanted to let you all know that even though we were close to the center of the earthquake, we're all okay and things are going to keep rolling along as usual.

Filling a Pilot Vanishing Point

This has been one of the most requested videos for me to do, so....here it is! Filling a Pilot Vanishing Point isn't hard once you understand how the pen works. It's quite different than most other fountain pens, so it does take a bit of studying and practice. Once you get the hang of it though, it's as simple as any other fountain pen.

If you'd like to see an overview of the Vanishing Point collection, check out my other blog post, here.
If you'd like to see how the Vanishing Point compares to the Lamy Dialog 3, check out my other post, here.

Pilot Vanishing Point in Raden finish, retractable nib fountain pen.

The Vanishing Point in my larger-than-average hand.

The Vanishing Point nib unit removed from the pen body.

Exploded view of all of the 'guts' of the Vanishing Point.

Very skinny 18k gold nib, but writes surprisingly smooth and springy.

LOTS of choices of colors for these pens, and limited editions come out all the time.

Vanishing Point nib size comparison, done on 80g Rhodia dotpad paper.

Hopefully this helps clear some things up for you. Let me know what you think!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Pilot Vanishing Point Overview

There are a lot of different Pilot Vanishing Point pens, and I thought it would help to talk about them all in a video. I broke it down into three parts:
  1. All The Pretty Colors- (0:53) showing the whole collection of VP pens that are available right now
  2. The Cases- (8:18) showing how the packaging is for each of the pens (there are 4 different ones)
  3. The Guts- (11:18) showing how to take the VP apart, what this nib is like, and how to operate the pen
LOTS of Vanishing Point colors are available regularly and in LE pens.

Vanishing Point nib size comparison, done on Rhodia 80g dotpad paper.

This is a blog best shown in video form, so I'll let it do all the explaining for you. I am in the process of doing a short video specifically on filling and using the VP, so look for that soon.

Post in the comments if you have any questions!

Friday, August 19, 2011

New Rhodia Unlimited, Premium 'R' Tablets, and Pad Holders

It's been a very long wait, but the new Rhodia notepads have finally arrived. We first heard about them in December of last year, and they were delayed until now. They've just arrived, so we're taking the opportunity to introduce you to these long-awaited notebooks. There are three main new products:

1) Rhodia Unlimited Notebook
2) "R by Rhodia" Soft-Touch Premium Notepads
3) Padholders in new sizes

Rhodia Unlimited Notebook 

This is a small 3-1/2" x 5-1/2" notebook with the new 'soft-touch' cover. It kinda feels like rubber, or suede, or something in between... very nice! It comes in orange or black, with the opposite color on the reverse side of the cover. It has an orange and black elastic closure, which is a really nice touch. It has 60 sheets (120 pages), of the usual 80g white Rhodia paper. Ours are lined, but ongoing they are supposed to be graph. And there is a new feature not seen in any other Rhodia side-bound notebook, microperforations!

R by Rhodia premium 'soft-touch' notepads 

These come in three sizes: No. 12 (3-3/8" x 4-3/4"), No. 16 (5-7/8" x 8-1/4"), and No. 18 (8-1/4" x 11-3/4"). All are available in orange or black covers, and in 7mm lined or blank paper. They have the same amazing rubbery covers as the Unlimiteds.

The biggest difference between these new premium notepads and the regular Rhodia top staplebound notepads is the paper. The new premium notepads have super-smooth 90g ivory paper (like the Rhodia Webnotebooks), whereas the regular Rhodia notepads have 80g white paper. The paper is actually made by Clairefontaine (Rhodia's sister company), so if you are familiar with the smoothness of Clairefontaine paper, it has exactly the same feel.

The new premium notepads have 70 sheets per notepad, whereas the regular Rhodia notepads have 80 sheets. And the new notepads have the soft-touch cover with the contrasting color on the reverse side.

The lined paper in the premium notepads have 7mm line rulings, just like the regular notepads. But all three sizes are without margins, which is different from the No. 16 and No. 18 regular notepads.

Pad holders 

These are new in No. 08 (3-1/4" x 8-1/4") and No. 18 (8-1/4" x 11-3/4"). They also have some for the two square Le Carré sizes. These come in black or orange covers, and accommodate both the new premium notepads as well as the regular line of Rhodia top staplebound notepads. All comes with an orange graph regular Rhodia notepad and have a small pencil loop.

These are all great new products from Rhodia, and we're proud to offer them. We're particularly excited about the Premium pads, because we've been asked time and time again for 'off-white Clairefontaine'. Well, this is it!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Write Time 8/17/11, with Brian Gray

Watch live video from Write Time at 9 on Justin.tv

We had a super-packed broadcast here, going on two hours! Brian Gray of Edison Pens joined us about 40 minutes into it, to introduce his new Collier pens. Here's a synopsis of the broadcast:
  • New Edison Collier pens, available in Antique Marble, Silver Marble, and Persimmon Swirl, selling for $150. More details on our site, here. Expect a video on the pens within the next week.
  • Rhodia Unlimited notebooks, Rhodia Premium notepads, and No. 18 and No. 8 pad holders, finally arrived! Expect videos and reviews of them coming in the next week or so.
  • Taccia Savanna and Legato, available starting late September. We will be getting in one Savanna to test and do videos, so expect to see that in a couple of weeks.
  • GPC and Ink Drop swag! We've already created a lot of cool stuff like coffee mugs, bumper stickers, t-shirts, hoodies, buttons, and postcards! We're having a lot of fun creating cool stuff, and we'll continue to do more and more :)
  • Sheaffer's affordable VFM, more Preludes and 300 pens, and the 100
  • New Ruby Red Lamy Al-Star  
  • New black matte Lamy Dialog 3
It was a great time, thanks to everyone who stayed with us for such a long and late broadcast! We have a lot of new stuff in recently, and we'll be getting more in the future. Keep up with Ink Nouveau here as we dive in and play with all the new stuff :)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Edison Collier Sneak Peek

See if you can guess why Brian Gray is smirking at the end of the video, it's not what it sounds like, I swear!

We had the opportunity to see the latest Edison pen, the Collier, this past weekend while we were at the DC Pen Show. We used the opportunity to snag Brian Gray and record a quick peek at the new pen in the 3 colors, and see how they compare to the Edison Nouveau Premiere and Edison Hudson. We'll have more info posted on these pens soon, I just wanted to give a quick tease.

Edison Collier in Antique Marble, Silver Marble, and Persimmon Swirl.
Edison Collier, Edison Hudson, and Edison Nouveau Premiere.

Here are the dimensions for the Collier:

Body Material: Acrylic resin
Clip Material: Gold-Plated Steel
Nib Material: Gold-Plated Steel or 18k Gold
Nib Size:    #6 nib, in fine (0.5mm), medium (0.635mm), or broad (0.8mm)
Cap Type: Screw-type
Filling Mechanism: Cartridge/converter (included), or convertable to eyedropper
Overall Weight: 30 grams (1.06oz)
Cap Weight: 10 grams (.35oz)
Body Weight: 20 grams (.71oz)
Overall Length (capped): 149mm (5.875in)
Overall Length (posted):  Does not post
Body Length: 130mm (5.125in)
Cap Diameter (no clip): 16.5mm (.65in)
Cap Diameter (with clip): 18.5mm (.73in)
Body Diameter: 15mm (.59in)
Nib Length: 23.5mm (0.9in)

Edison Colliers are available for sale for $150 at GouletPens.com.

Write Time Topics: 8/17/11 with Brian Gray!

If you have the time, it'll be well worth it tonight to drop in to see us and Brian Gray (by phone) live at 9pm EDT for Write Time. Tonight, we'll have a jam-packed night, probably going longer than usual talking about:

Whew! That's going to be a lot to cover, we'll have to see how much we can get through! It'll be an informative night and with Brian Gray on the line, it's bound to be a good time! Stop by and see us if you can.

    Monday, August 15, 2011

    DC Fountain Pen Show 2011 Teaser Pics

    We went to the DC Fountain Pen Supershow this past weekend, and we really had a blast! This year we opted not to actually set up a table for reasons I'll explain in the full blog post, but we did spend a lot of time just walking around, taking pictures, and meeting fellow fountain pen lovers face-to-face. I took a lot of pictures and even shot some video, but it's going to take me a few days to get it all edited and put together. Until then, here are some teaser pics from the show to give you an idea what it's like.

    Sheraton Premiere in Tysons Corner, where the show took place.

    Brian and Andrea Gray, of Edison Pen Co. Good friends of ours. Seeing them was a big reason why we went to the show!

    Taccia's new model, the Legato. Smaller bodied than most other Taccia pens.

    Ink testing table. I took this picture before the mobs hoarded the inks!

    Taccia's new pen the Savanna. Hand turned from buffalo horn, more on it later!

    New Edison pen called the Collier. This is the latest in the Edison retailer lineup.

    Pretty Taccia leather pen cases!

    Main ballroom: lotsa vendors, lotsa people, lotsa lotsa pens!!!

    Me, rockin' the GPC shirt.

    Goulet Fam! Literally, it took 14 pictures to get Joseph to look happy, haha! I look creepy, but whatev.

    It was great to get to meet our fellow pen addicts fans at the show ;) Thanks to everyone who went hunting for us to talk to us! We felt a bit like 'Where's Waldo', it was kind of fun, haha!

    We'll look to compile a more comprehensive look at all the goings on of the show later once I have time to edit everything.

    Friday, August 12, 2011

    Come See Us at the DC Pen Show!

    Rachel and I will be at the DC Pen Show today and tomorrow, wearing the very shirts you see here. We're excited to meet all of you who are able to attend and get to geek out with pen talk. We aren't going to have a table or booth set up, we'll just be flitting around the show talking to vendors and other pen fans. We'll be taking pictures and shooting video for Ink Nouveau, too. We're really looking forward to it, so be sure to stop and chat with us when you see us there!

    We'll be walking around all over the place, but we'll be hanging out a lot over at the Edison Pen Co. table with Brian Gray and his wife. We plan to be there today mid-day from somewhere around 12pm-3pm, and tomorrow (Saturday) for most of the day. Don't be afraid to stop us and say hi, we're literally going there just to meet you!

    Ink Drop Reveal- August 2011

    This month's Ink Drop theme is 'New Kids on the Block'. We chose a selection of inks that were new (at least to us) to introduce to you. Here they are!

    We had a bit of drama at the last minute choosing the last ink, it was actually supposed to be Omas Blue. But we had a problem with the color, we had actually received several bottles of what appeared to be an Omas Turquoise/Blue hybrid, and we're still sorting out what happened there. Thankfully, Noodler's had JUST released Blue Nose Bear a few days before the Drop was to go out, so we dramatically and frantically changed it out ;) 

    I'm going to look to do more detailed reviews of all of these inks throughout the month, you can see the one I've already done on Blue Nose Bear here. If you're interested in still signing up for Ink Drop for this month, you have through August 14th to do it and still get these inks. You can sign up here.

    We were honestly concerned with this month because last month's Drop was SOOOO popular. I didn't know how we'd be able to follow it up! It seems from threads on forums like the Fountain Pen Network that these colors are a really big hit, especially because they are ones that a lot of you don't already have. What do you all think of this month's colors?

    Thursday, August 11, 2011

    Write Time 8/10/11

    Watch live video from Write Time at 9 on Justin.tv

    Thanks to everyone for joining us live, it was a lot of fun! Here's what we talked about for all of you who weren't able to be with us live:

    • Announcement that we'll be carrying TWSBI 540 pens at GouletPens.com
    • Edison Collier, new pen to be available soon
    • Aston Leather selection at GPC
    • Showing the new LE Pink Pilot Vanishing Point
    • DC Pen Show and what we'll be doing there
    • Ink Drop colors for August
    • Announcing the gender of our baby Goulet #2 (hint: it's a girl!)
    We'll be posting pictures and videos as we're able for the DC pen show this weekend, and if you're able to attend, look for us in our fancy new GPC shirts!

    Wednesday, August 10, 2011

    Write Time Topics 8/10/11

    We have good stuff to talk about tonight! It will be a special broadcast because it's just a couple of days before our 5th wedding anniversary, and we're having our ultrasound today to see what gender our little Goulet #2 is! If you have some time at 9pm EDT come by here and see us live to celebrate with us on that, as well as talk some 'business' stuff:
    • Aston leather pen cases (single slip, 10-pen case and 20-pen case)
    • TWSBI Diamond 540 pens soon to be offered at GPC
    • Upcoming DC pen show, which we will be attending
    We'll be sharing stories of how we both met and what we've gone through as a couple over the nearly 10 years we've been together and 5 years of marriage. Come by and see us tonight if you can :)

    Tuesday, August 9, 2011

    Online Smaragd (Emerald) Ink Review

    Link to YouTube for more viewing options.

    Online is a brand out of Germany that most people have never heard of. They only have a few inks, one of which is Online Smaragd (Emerald), a name you likely won't forget. It's a nice green color, with it's most notable feature being it's amazing shading. To bring out this characteristic, I decided to use my incredibly wet violet Lamy Studio with a 14k broad nib (limited edition, now discontinued).

    The Online bottles are almost like little toys compared to much larger ink bottles, they are only 15ml! It's basically impossible to fill almost any pen from even a new bottle of the ink, so be ready to decant, fill directly into your converter, or bust out your ink syringe for this one.

    The ink is nice though, let's take a look:

    Dry time is long, water resistance is low, so this isn't an ink for writers on the go. Ha! I totally didn't mean for that to rhyme, I swear! If you have a little time to sit and wait, this ink will flow wet for you and shade like few other inks will.

    The green color is nice, not too yellow, not too blue. I would say it leans a little more towards the blue than yellow, but not by much. Here are some other brands of ink that are comparable to Smaragd (at least in color):

    At $6 for 15ml, it's not the cheapest ink out there, but it is nice for a crazy shading green ink. If that's something that excites you, then it might be worth giving it a try (at least in a sample).

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