SO excited for…

the Atlanta Pen Show!!

My flight is booked, and I’m looking forward to sharing a room with a pen pal and friend I have yet to meet in person.

The pen community is full of wonderful people and I can’t wait to catch up with old friends and meet new ones. I don’t really need any more pens, but I can always use another friend. So that’s what this trip is really about—pen people, hugs, laughter, and sharing.

April can’t get here soon enough.

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The perfect travel journal, no?

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Chicago Gets An Upgrade!

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What a view! What a city! Chicago—full of energy, museums, parks, great food, and art. I’ve only visited twice but always return home longing to go back. The trip, via Amtrak, from here to there is about 13 hours, most of it overnight. We leave Utica at 9 am and arrive in Chicago around 10 am. Usually with stiff legs and a crick in my back from sleeping on the train, but that soreness evaporates as soon as we leave the station and hit the streets.

Once we check into the Palmer House (an exceptionally well run hotel), we’re off and running. Literally. It’s easy to rack up 10 miles or more just walking to and through museums, to the various sight-seeing towers, and up and down Michigan Avenue with its high-end shops and stores.

Cities usually wear me down but Chicago has the opposite effect. It lights me up.

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Van Gogh’s The Bedroom//Art Institute of Chicago

So, in summary. Chicago is great.

And now it’s greater.

BECAUSE…

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Anderson Pens is adding a second location! In Chicago! On the ground floor of The Palmer House!

I’m absolutely thrilled for them, and, selfishly, for myself, too. I don’t get to Chicago often, but when I do, Anderson Pens will be there, right in my hotel.

This summer, thanks to the incredible kindness of Brian and Lisa, I was able to visit their Appleton, WI store when I was relatively nearby in Green Bay for a conference. During a block of free time on a Sunday afternoon, Brian drove me there and back (which was no small time investment on his part) in his beloved Corvette so that I could browse and shop in the pen and ink mecca that is Anderson Pens. Even though the store was closed. Even though they had a ton of packing to do for the DC Pen Show the following weekend.

The store was a lot like I had pictured it, except that there was more of everything than I had envisioned. More notebooks…

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more ink…

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and more pens…

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So much pen, ink, and paper goodness that it was hard to take it all in.

While I browsed and drooled and shopped, Brian and Lisa were the most gracious of hosts, telling me all about the store, their employees, and the quirky guy next door, while pulling orders for shipment, and letting me try whatever I wanted to try. They needed me like a hole in the head, but were 100% welcoming, patient, and entertaining.

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When it was time to return to Green Bay, purchases in hand, I’d checked off a bucket list item—visit Anderson Pens.

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My Sailor 1911 Standard//Fresca Blue (MF nib)

How wonderful for Brian and Lisa that they’re now getting ready to open Anderson Pens Chicago in Spring 2018. And how wonderful for Chicago.

All of the details of this exciting announcement are HERE.

Congratulations, Brian and Lisa!! Chicago just got an upgrade! Much happiness and success to you!

Oh, how you deserve it.

 

 

 

 

I Drew An Avocado With a Cat

As you do.

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You, too, can draw an avocado with your own cat. Or owl. Or heart. All made of densely-bound artist-grade graphite.

My graphite cat was a birthday gift from my cousin, and is as wonderful and unique as she is. I think this is the coolest thing, and even though I’m no artist (see avocado above as evidence), I love doing rough (really rough) sketches using the cat’s nose or ear or front paw.

From the Batle Studio website: “Each Curio Object is handmade in San Francisco by artist Agelio Batle using an innovative method he invented. Any part writes, while it resists staining your hands. Approximately 2″ long, this graphite Cat is individually packaged in an elegant box with a window revealing the graphite object inside.”

There are also:

“I drew an avocado with a cat” is not a sentence you hear every day. Until now.