Wednesday, October 31, 2012

October Miscellany: Handwriting, Pencils, Erasers, and More

My monthly miscellany posts are collections of links and thoughts that don't get developed into full blog posts.  In this month's miscellany, we explore handwriting, pencils, erasers, and brush pens, and meet two individuals who own way more journals and pens than I do.  It's a relatively long miscellany this month, so let's get started!

  • An article from the JetPens blog on what your handwriting says about you.  When I did this analysis for myself, my handwriting actually didn't say much about me at all, as my handwriting has hardly any of the characteristics described in the article - but maybe your handwriting will be more revealing.
  • Regardless of what your handwriting reveals about you, check out this great article on why handwriting matters.  It is a bit long, but well worth the read, and is apparently actually an extract from a new book - perhaps a book that I should be checking out.
  • To continue the theme, check out this article from Tiger Pens on 6 reasons why taking notes by hand still wins.
  • Some useful tips on differentiating between pencil graphite grades from the European Paper Company.  I always knew that B was soft and H was hard, but now I know that it's a bit more complex than that.  Good to know, especially since I'm starting to use wooden pencils more often.
  • For more on pencils, check out this fun pencil shaving artwork from Marta Alt├ęs (via The Well-Appointed Desk).  The drawings are simple but very expressive, and I love how the artist used the pencil shavings to create different shapes - I think I could almost do this kind of art.
  • A great article all about the Pink Pearl eraser (via Pencil Revolution).  I remember craving one of these erasers back in elementary school after reading about a character in one of Beverly Cleary's novels who owned one.  (I have always been a bibliophile, and I have always wanted to be like the characters in my favourite books.)  This article even quotes from the very same book that I remember, so check it out.
  • Pentel Brush Pen doodles from Gourmet Pens.  I just don't really get brush pens, and I've never been able to use them as well as this.  I think Azizah is a much better artist than she thinks she is!
  • I don't usually use prompts in my writing and art, but as I'm trying to write more fiction I think that I may start.  And these links to a plethora of writing prompts may come in helpful.
  • Awesome notebooks that look like the bark of trees: Woodpecker Notebooks from Writersblok.  I want one of these!
  • This amazes me: Michelle Reuss at Lost Coast Post currently has 28 journals and 17 sketchbooks in progress (not to mention the dozens of unused ones waiting in the wings).  I think that I have a lot of notebooks on the go when I'm using, say, a dozen at a time, but that is nothing to what Michelle has!  I honestly can't imagine using so many journals at once; I think I would be completely and utterly overwhelmed.  I admire anyone who can keep that many journals and sketchbooks at a time.
  • And Michelle may have a lot of notebooks in progress, but Azizah has a lot of pens and she recently did a penventory.  This also amazes me.  I'd be happy to have even a tenth of her collection.

That's all for this month, and I'll see you in November with a review of another notebook from Daycraft and a new series of posts on art journals!

10 comments:

  1. You might be interested in the Italic Project at http://briem.net/ , and in the Handwriting Repair section on the same site.

    I love writing by hand, even if I am not always happy with the result, and I found the idea of an italic writing style inspiring.

    Also, I love your blog. Keep it up!

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    1. Thanks, Stephan! That link looks interesting, and I would love to improve my handwriting one day. I always enjoy writing by hand, and although my handwriting is not too bad, it can get a bit messy and hard to read at times :)

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  2. Thanks for sharing our pencil grades post!

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  3. I'm in love!!! With your blog, that is. I love all things paper, pens, journels, etc. So happy i found you.

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    1. Thank you so much, Pamela! You're going to have me blushing soon...

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  4. I liked the Philip Hensher piece about why handwriting matters. Try this thought experiment. Imagine keyboarding came first, then handwriting. Then sell handwriting to yourself, maybe infomercial-style.

    For example: "Is handwriting the ancient, gnostic secret of communication??!!! No electricity, no keyboard, and absolutely no distraction!!! Mind, manuscript, and writing implement. All one--and at a cost of pennies a day!!"

    I'm half-exaggerating, but I really think handwriting offers much in the way of small-muscle motor skills, everyman's art in good penmanship, economy of communication, etc. Thanks for the Miscellany, Heather. Jack/Ohio

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    1. That's a good point, Jack! I think that much of it really does just come down to which one came first. People want to be seen as being on top of new technology rather than being out of date, regardless of whether one technology is better than the other or not.

      Personally, I think there is room for both handwriting and typing. As a writer, I find that writing by hand allows me to write more freely than does typing, but sometimes I find it helpful to do things the other way as well. Computers are often portrayed as the stark opposites of pen and paper, but I think it's a bit more complicated than that; they both can fulfil different roles and purposes and don't need to be in opposition.

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  5. I agree, Heather. I'd like to see a schoolteacher muster a good case for a penmanship, calligraphy, and shorthand sub-curriculum, because I think there are good arguments to be made that haven't been made. Jack/Ohio

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  6. Thank you for including my doodles :D You're so sweet!*Blush* Let's hope I can improve hehe. I finally have time to sit down and check out the other links too :D

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    1. I truly do think your brush pen doodles are awesome, Azizah! Definitely better than any of the things that I've managed to do with a brush pen...

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