Sunday, October 27, 2013

Amber, Snails and African Violets

Yesterday I read the most awesome article on the National Geographic website about Amber, yes, the stone.

It appears they have found a snail sealed in Amber. It looked exactly like the tiny snails that live in leaf litter on forest floors look now! They had a great picture of it posted of course.

There has also been a bee found in Amber (10 to 15 million years old) that was carrying pollen on its back from an orchid. They identified the orchid as Goodyerinae caribea.

How totally amazing are those finds?!

Today I went to my first African Violet Society meeting. It was a meeting of the First Lakeland African Violet Society in Lakeland, Florida. The people were awesome, they made me feel very welcome. They did a presentation about how to get your African Violets ready for showing since they have a show coming up in February and it takes a few months of working on them to get the plants ready.

Up until today I have had exactly 2 African Violets, neither of which I have gotten to bloom but I am raising wonderful leaves. I came home from the meeting with a handful of plastic bags with leaves in them, which I have since coming home put into little cups with a mix of perlite and vermiculite to root.  I will be keeping them under artificial lighting since I don't have windows that are appropriate for growing the little beauties in.

I also came home with 3 plastic baggies that I won in a raffle with actually young growing plants. Those potted up 6 pots since there turned out to be 2 young plants in each one. I am sure that I was not nearly ruthless enough on the removal of leaves as I potted them but I just couldn't bring myself to rip off very many of their leaves they have worked so hard to grow. And besides, right now under my questionable care they are going to need all the healthy leaves they can have!

I would like very much to be able to grow them well so that they bloom nicely. One of the two African Violets I already had I bought at the USF Spring Plant Sale this past Spring. It is called 'Festival on Ice' and was amazing! I keep it at work, it sits on my desk during the day and then in my supervisor's window in the evening and on the weekends to give it more light. It hasn't bloomed again but the variegated foliage is beautiful none the less. Now I know it needs more light to bloom so I hope to bring it home to the artificial light and get it to make more of those beautiful blooms it had when I bought it!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Pilot B2P Gel Ink Pens

I recently read about the B2P (Bottle to Pen) pens that are made by Pilot. They are made of over 80% recycled drinking water bottles. They have an awesome look, very much like the water bottles they are made from. They use the Pilot G2 refills so of course they write great. When I started trying to find a place that sold them I discovered much to my sadness that they aren't available in the United States. They've apparently been around elsewhere since 2006 according to the information I was able to dig up about them.

Thanks to the awesome people at Tiger Pens in Great Britain today I received 4 of the B2P pens. I ordered them barely over a week ago and they came by way of the mailman today! I was totally amazed. These people are AWESOME! I can totally recommend them.

I truely can't imagine why Pilot has not been able to offer these pens in the US. As an ecologically minded individual and a big fan of the Pilot G2 pens these would be a big hit with me and other's of like interests I'm sure.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

I'm in Fountain Pen Heaven

I received 2 boxes this week that contained the most amazing things in the world. Well, at least for me they contain some really wonderful things that make me very happy.

I love to journal and I've wanted to be able to use a fountain pen for journaling. There's something so pure and visceral to me in being able to write with a fountain pen. I really can't explain it. Don't get me wrong, I adore my laptop and all the information it allows me access to. BUT, it's just not the same. I owned one fountain pen up until the other day. I enjoy it very much but it does not have a fine enough nib for me to use in my journaling.

Levenger Sea Grass is my first fountain pen. She is beautiful to look at, she writes so smooth that it's like gliding along on silk. Her nib says 'Fine" but she's more like a medium width line and that's fine for notes at class and writing on most papers, just not in my journal.

Back to the boxes!

The first one came on Thursday. It was from and contained a bottle of Noodler's Ink called Kung Te-Cheng Emperor's Purple that came with a fine point fountain pen and a felt tip pen, along with a Pilot extra-fine nib pen from Japan and some cartridges for that pen. The Noodler's Ink is every bit as wonderful as I read it would be. I only wish that I could use this particular color in all my pens, but it says to only use this ink in the provided pens due to it being a bit experimental. It's absolutely awesome. I have yet to put the other pen to the test because I don't want to wind up with too many pens with ink in them at one time.

The second one came on Saturday. It was from and contained a Lamy Al-Star fountain pen with an extra fine nib. The one I ordered is the color they call Black Purple. It's absolutely beautiful. And when I slipped the blue cartridge into it that came in the box I was so amazed how quickly this pen fed ink and started to write like a total dream. It writes an extremely fine line that is fantastic in my journal. I am in love! I purchased a converter and some spare cartridges for this pen and I can see that I am going to be running more ink through this one than the others combined.

These are my birthday presents to myself for this year. I'm SO pleased with them. Both the pens, the ink and the companies that I dealt with are totally super. I'd recommend them all to anyone looking for fountain pens, ink and companies that deliver on what they carry and/or produce.

I plan to acquire more Noodler's Ink colors as soon as I can. If this ink I have now is any indication at all Noodler's Ink totally deserves all of the good reviews I have read about them.

Friday, October 2, 2009

First Adventure in Creating a Blog

I have thought about creating a blog for a while and just keep putting it off. But, I have finally decided that the only thing to do is jump in and go for it. Now I just need to think of good things to place here.

We'll see what comes!