Sunday, August 23, 2009

Pen wrap prototype and prompted poetry


Last Wednesday I had the wonderful experience of running into another fountain pen user at the coffee house before work--nice gentleman, pastor of a local church. He's a fountain pen collector, but definitely uses his pens. He had a nice little batch of pens with him--a few variations on the Pelikan M200 (including demonstrators in blue and amber--I like!), a HUGE Laban Mento (realllly beautiful material, those), and a bunch of nice little Esterbrooks. He was carrying them primarily in little zip folio type cases, with slots for pens and a zipper to keep everything snug. My favorite of his two or three cases had maybe half a dozen pen slots on one side and an index card writing surface on the other--way cool! Levenger-made--he said he got it when they closed that style out. There's nothing like that on their site now.

It was awfully nice to be able to babble about pens with someone who understands this obsession. And as he was leaving, he *gave* me the little blue Esterbrook he'd let me try. Wouldn't take it back. Which makes me feel like rather a cheapskate for just giving away Heros. What a generous gift!

However, without saying a word, he unwittingly made me feel rather guilty about the way I treat my pens. I confess, at most, I clip them to the edge of one of the end pockets on my bag, and at worst, I just toss them in any which way. I don't have anything super old or rare, granted, but it's probably not the best way to treat them long term.

Pen Wrap

I looked on-line, but most of the pen cases I found were very expensive. Pen wraps were a little less so, but then I got to thinking...maybe I could just make one. So I went to Jo-Ann, picked up a fabric remnant that seemed about the right sort of material (something I could cut without worrying about frayed edges), and attempted to hand-sew something acceptable. Considering this was just the prototype, I left the edge on, didn't measure, and didn't chalk out any kind of lines to guide my stitching. I should have--it's all crooked lines and odd angles. I will also make the flap come all the way down on a future edition, if I make one, and will use another part of the material where the lines will be straight (I left the nicer part of the material aside). Still, although it's ugly (I hadn't done any sewing least a decade), it's functional. And it cost me about a buck in materials. Gotta love that.


Give this a try: look around the room. Find something that catches your eye--a picture, maybe, or the rug, or the Siamese cat opening the drawer to the dresser where you store yarn and pulling stuff out onto the floor and---hey, Tamino! Knock it off!

Where was I? Oh, writing prompts. So...look at whatever-it-is and think of a few words that describe it. Ponder those words. Let them roll around in your brain for a few moments. Focus on them. Think of double meanings for them, or how they could apply to a character's life. "Red chair?" Think of a life story for it, or how it was the very favorite chair of George's Aunt Melba, who would visit at the most inconvenient times and park there and refuse to leave no matter how obvious he made it that he needed to go because the love of his life was waiting for him at the park on the other side of town.

I had opportunity to try this out this week. I had to do a software install at an off-site office, and much of the install involves waiting and watching that blue line crawl slowly across the screen. I was all alone in a side office, no one to talk to, but I had a notebook and a pen, and I had a roomful of the sort of things people put around them at work--photos and comic strips and knickknacks and lists of phone numbers and plastic desk organizers. I was bored, so I tried to think of something to write about, and my eye kept coming back to the clock--a white plastic thing with butterflies on it. Butterflies. A butterfly clock. And I started scribbling, and got down the bones of what ultimately became this slightly sticky-sweet poem:

Field of daisies
butterfly clocks
turn in time with the sun;
I am running to meet you
down by the water
where trails of light meld into one
which leaps 'cross the ripples
and into tomorrow
where the waves reach up to the sky
and the golden of daylight
meets purple of twilight--
we stand watching night drawing nigh.

There's a hush on this moment
one golden moment
I am caught in a moment with you;
With my hand in your hand
we walk back through daisies,
asleep now--awaiting their dew.
The sun clocks have stopped
as though time has ceased:
we walk on eternity's shore.
In the blue-velvet darkness
I am awestruck by beauty
my heart is too full to take more.

For what it is, I'm fairly pleased with it.


Monda said...

You know, there are some knitters out there who could dream up something along the same lines...

And thanks for the prompt!

Elizabeth H. said...

I thought about crocheting something, and I may still do so...but I wasn't sure if I'd end up getting the clips caught in the yarn so much that it ended up being a nuisance. felted knitting?

I really need to learn to knit someday.

Anne said...

Knitting is hard! Did you see my post from last week "Teacher's Pet?" If you are good with a crochet needle, I would recommend sticking with it!

Love the poem. Butterflies always draw me to the resurrection, new life, and I think your poem would be a perfect description of the beauty of resurrection-walking hand and hand on eternity's shore. Nice job!

Joe V said...

Great post, thank you. This reminded me of the pen case I looked for in various second hand stores, and which I finally found, and the particular collection of pens and mechanical pencils that I store in it. Sounds like inspiration for a blog entry. I'll have to remember give credit where credit is due.

WV: "irept," as in "I rept this idea off from Little Flower Petals." Heh.;)


deek said...

My wife is a crocheter. Not very good at knitting though, but last year for her birthday, I took her to this little rural yarn shop and had the owner demo a couple of knitting machines.

She went with the LK-150, and she has been using it to create all sorts of great things: baby blankets, headbands, baby dresses.

"Machine" is a bit of a misnomer, as its all human-powered, but it apparently makes a huge difference in time spent.

She still loves to crochet by hand, but I'd say the knitting machine was a great gift!

Olivander said...

That pen roll reminds me of the gun bundle that Lee Van Cleef's character carried rolled up on his saddle in The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.

Er...right. Carry on.

Mike Speegle said...

Ay, Cisco, look out! It is Marshall Herreid and her bandoleer of pens!

So cool that you met a kindred spirit out there. Gives me hope for humanity, it does.

Olivander said...

Heh. Gives a whole new meaning to, "3...2...1... Draw!"

[ducks volley of rotten tomatoes]

Elizabeth H. said...

I'm a pen slinger...don't mess with me. ;-)

And apparently I have arrived--I've had a spammer these past twelve hours or so. Apologies to those who have seen those messages. It's someone who's actually entering the word verification, so other than changing to approve comments (which I hate to do if I don't have to), I can't do anything. :-\

Strikethru said...

That is weird that you had a spammer who actually entered the word verification.

I so don't understand spam. Is there one person on earth who clicks on incomprehensible, obscene, and unwanted messages? Even one? How can it be worth the spammer's time?

But back to the post-- I am amazed that you could get something that inspired out of the interior of an office! (A notoriously uninspired place, I should know).

Nice pen case! I second (or third?) that knitting is hard. It takes a lot of time. Scrounge around on for ideas for knitted or sewn cases for knitting needles. One could easily adapt one of those ideas for pens.

I prefer sewing with a machine to knitting. It takes a small fraction of the time.

Duffy Moon said...

Worth reading just for "the sun clocks have stopped".

Really dug this, E.

(word verif = "lyvonv", as in "He comes from the planetoid Lygon-V, where they actually use sun-clocks")