If the other post didn’t work, I am moving this blog to a new an improved place with a cleaner simpler interface. Here it is: possets.wordpress.org. See you there for lots of fascinating observations about life and more. The summer series on Kohl eyeliner will be there, too. Don’t miss it. Fondly, Fabienne
…I saw a little cloud which looked like it was smearing across the sky, leaving a chalk white trail behind it.
Inks which show variance in color and darkness as you write are called shading inks and are very popular as a subset of bottle ink. Looking at the example of a shading ink above*, notice how the spots where the pen naturally lingers are the darkest parts of the word, that is typical of shading ink.
Shading inks are generally less saturated than the non shading inks and that means they do not contain an ultra high dye concentration and resemble antique ink more than the highly saturated modern inks.
The wider your nib, the more the variation in color when writing with a shading ink, so if you want to see the maximum of what an ink can do, then use a broad or italic (stub) nib and admire the result.
All colors, even black, can have a shading effect. Iron gall inks were famous for their shading characteristics, but the color range was pretty limited (usually a blue-black).
Nowadays, there are lots of shading inks in the marketplace. Noodler’s Golden Brown and Apache Sunset are two famous ones (brown and yellow-to-orange respectively). Diamine Meadow is a lovely true green which can shade to yellow, Montblanc Black can go from jet black to a dark grey, and Akkerman Shocking Blue shades and has a reddish metallic cast to it when it dries.
If you are looking for a good recommendation on shading inks for your fountain pen, try going to The Fountain Pen Network and searching for “shading ink”, you are sure to find a great many. There is a link to The Fountain Pen Network to the right of this blog. Happy hunting!
*The name of the pictured ink is “Black Swan in North African Violets” and you have to make it yourself out of two different Noodler’s inks. Searching for it on The Fountain Pen Network will point the way to the recipe.
There are a number of places which are great for helping you lose weight, trustworthy and not trying to game you into some silly place or steal your money. Many of them are free, some are part of a system that you buy. I want to tell you about two of them which I have had experience with, and several that I have heard good things about.
LoseIt-Totally free app for iPhone, Android and a big website. This is a calorie counter which you have to put in what you eat. It calculates what you can eat based on your height, weight, gender, and age. When you exercise, you put in the calories you burned and it adjusts the amount you can eat based on that. A robust very supportive and well moderated forum which frowns on crazies and is superbly supportive. There are some profound success stories on Lose it. You can scan in barcodes from food packs, it hooks up to the Withings Scale (for automatic weight update electronically when you weigh yourself). It integrates with Fitbit. There is a very good book you can buy about losing weight. I used this with my heart rate monitor for months and lost weight without suffering.
FitBit-This is part of a system featuring a souped up pedometer which is very small and you wear it all the time. It tracks your steps, how many stairs you climb, your calories and more. More? The real genius of this is that you wear it on your wrist at night and it calculates how well you sleep (a very important component of weight loss). If you have a particularly heavy workout day, the Fitbit will compensate you for the extra calories! There is an internet site which helps you put all that information together, count calories, with a robust forum, and it reads the information when you are near your base computer. Pretty full features, it just lacks the ability to scan bar codes from food packages (which I find immensely helpful). The Fitbit is about $100 and is NOT waterproof. Comes with a base station and easy set up. The app for iPhone and Android is pretty good, but not as slick as some.
My Fitness Pal-A very full featured calorie counter. Real popular among those who want to lose weight. Tight knit community, the ability to scan in food packages and a great reputation make this free service a real winner. Apps for your phone and a great website.
Spark People-this one has been around for years and devotees swear by it. Spark has a lot of features and seems to really cut across Fitness Centers and distance to bring a lot of healthy lives to a lot of people. I have not used Spark People but it’s well worth a try. Free to use.
Google has a bunch of fitness trackers and whatnot. Google has just about everything, so if you are a raw vegan who only eats things which begin with vowels, there is a weightloss plan for you on Google,I am sure.
There are literally hundreds of weight loss apps and websites out there. This is just the tip of the iceberg and I can only talk about the ones I know about in depth. They all operate on the same time honored system for losing weight: eat less, move more. Counting calories is a pain but waking up with arthritis in your back at age 35 because you are obese is a bigger pain (oh, and arthritis doesn’t go away, amigo). So, don’t let that happen to you. These calorie counting weight loss programs and apps really work and make it all as fun as it can be. So investigate one of them for yourself!
Pens, like just about anything, have fashionable characteristics. Right now there is a definite set of trends for the modern fountain pen collector to consider. Let’s take a look at them.
Big pens are enjoying wide popularity, the bigger the pen the higher the price. The nib should be very big in relation to the body and broader writing nibs are more in demand than the extra fine sort. People want to make a bold statement with the look of the instrument and the line it puts down.
A pen’s filling mechanism affects it’s desirably, too. On the low end of the popularity scale is the cartridge filler. Cartridges are convenient and much less prone to get ink on the fingers of the user but the user has to stick to the ink and colors available in that cartridge from the maker. Next best filling system is the “converter” which changes a cartridge filling pen into one which can take ink refills from ink bottles, opening up the possibility of using any ink which comes in a bottle. Lever fillers are just about always the vintage way of filling a pen. A sac inside the pen is squeezed shut by the lever and then when the nib and its fill hole are immersed in ink, the lever is deployed and the sac engorges with ink. Lever fillers phased out in the 1950′s and the sac can fail causing some pretty awful mishaps. Piston fillers have a small drum like stopper which rides up and down on a screw mechanism. It creates a vacuum inside the ink chamber and sucks up the ink from a bottle that way when the end of the pen is twisted. Finally, a vacuum fill pen pulls ink into a pen when its vacuum mechanism is activated; it’s a quick action and very clean. The price of a pen usually goes up with the desirability of the filling system in the order I outlined above.
Size, nib width, and filling system are three big factors in the price and popularity of pens now and so you might say that the Montblanc 149 is the Holy Grail of pens circa 2012. Sporting a price tag of around $800+ it’s the pen to be seen with and it actually writes wonderfully well! Or you could investigate some of the very good pens at about $60 from TWSBI, a $25 pen from Noodler’s, a $5 pen from Jinhao, or the Pilot 78G (which is a truly remarkable bargain and a wonderful writing pen, one of the few modern pens with a sac fill).
One of the Possetiers asked me this question on the forum, and I will be answering it:
I’m interested in perfume strength and longevity. What causes a perfume to lose power? What notes (like citrus) tend to dissipate quickly? Which tend to create perfume stability and last longer? Does mixing them more concentrated with less carrier oil help the strength and longevity? It seems like it would to some degree.
Enlighten us with what you’ve learned personally if you will I have problems with some perfume oils staying for very long on my skin and even on my hair or clothing. So this would be what I’m most curious about. I don’t know if you’ve covered this topic before or not so if you have would you mind posting where it is?
Perfumes lose power because they evaporate from your skin. The ones which evaporate faster and the top notes and they last a short time. These have very light molecules and they fly away literally! Citrus notes are great but short lived components. Almond note is very strong when you first put it on, but it goes away very quickly and is almost totally gone within 5 minutes.
The components which stay the longest are the ones with the heaviest molecules and so they evaporate very slowly and stay on your skin a long time. Patchouli and musk are good examples.
Generally speaking, the less carrier oil the stronger and longer lasting the fragrance. However, that does not guarantee that something is going to linger…if the fragrance is composed of a lot of top notes, it is going to fade fast under just about all circumstances.
One huge part of the longevity of a perfume is how used you are to it and “dead nose”. Also, how dry your skin is a big part of it, too.
If you are used to a perfume you are going to ignore it sooner and get tired of it quicker. Sad to say, this is permanent. A perfume you loved years ago and have not worn again won’t have the same kick and thrill if you smell it again later. Of course your mileage may vary but…that’s life.
Dead nose is a problem. If you love it and you huff it, you will deadify your nose to it. Alas, the more you like it the faster it recedes.
The oilier your skin, the longer a fragrance will last. I noticed that years ago. I think that is why when I tanned and put a lot of oil on my skin I smelled like my summer perfume (which mingled with my tanning oil) for hours. Paradoxically, heat has a lot to do with it as well. The hotter it is, the more a fragrance will last regardless of the fact that heat makes things evaporate fast (it’s the humidity, too, you know). This may be why summertime is when a lot of people soft pedal their perfumes…they amp.
I hope I answered your questions here. Sorry I didn’t see it sooner.
People HATE counting calories. Maybe they seem nebulous, maybe it’s hard to do, maybe it’s shocking to see how quickly they add up and how few of them you are allowed in a day to maintain your weight. Well, kids, that’s life. You are going to have to get used to the fact that you can’t exist on cupcakes and maintain your svelte booty. So, let’s act like grown ups here, and make a bit of progress and lose weight!
Every day I do 400 calories worth of exercise in addition to my daily activities. It does not matter if it’s vigorous or gentle it just has to be exercise over and above what I would normally do. By vigorous I mean on the level of a hard turbo kick class or a bootcamp/calorie crusher. By gentle, I mean walking at a brisk pace, not sauntering along. You have to feel exertion and you have to feel like you are sweating. Yoga and Tai Chi don’t count. They are wonderful for stretching and balance and getting in touch with your spiritual side but compare them to what you rack up with a calorie burn during a fast walk outdoors up and down hills and there isn’t any contest. Be devoted to yoga, make time for your practice, don’t ask it to help you lose weight…that isn’t what it’s for.
The most effective way I have to maintain my weight is to eat less, but it’s imperative to move more as well. Some people fall into the trap of putting aside an hour to work out. They work out for an hour. They do this most days, they skip a few but there are extenuating circumstances. They gain back and feel defeated.
I don’t work out for an hour. I don’t do one weightlifting class and go home because I lifted a lot of weight and now I can eat cookies. I do what everyone really hates: I work out for 400 calories and I do it every day. I have maintained my weight and that is because I use the one benchmark which is pretty infallable: calorie burn.
Many times I lift weights and I burn between 250-300 calories. Then I take part of a cardio class until I reach 400 and then I have finished my workout for the day. Simple and it works.
How do you know how many calories you have burned? Get a heart rate monitor and use it. Just about all of them will count the calories you have burned based on the information you put in about yourself. Your height, weight, age, and gender determine how many calories you burn when you exercise, and that is reckoned from how fast your heart beats. Measure the heart beats and measure the calorie burn.
If you suspect that this isn’t perfectly accurate, hear this: it doesn’t have to be. That’s right, all you have to do is to make sure that your monitor is in working order and use the same one every day. If you use the same instrument to measure your work every day, you will get a consistent result and so you can measure with very good accuracy.
Do you have to do a 400 calorie burn every day? Is that right for you? I don’t know, you are the judge of that. Start off with 400 calories or look up the number of calories you have to burn per day to maintain a healthy (goal) weight. I am sure you can find a place to do that on the internet. Then start to work out for an hour a day and measure how many calories that burns. If you are not maintaining your weight with a sensible diet, add 25 more calories per day until you get to a maintaining plateau. This will take some time but it’s worth it.
Counting calories is not fun but it is an excellent benchmark for you to help you lose and maintain weight. I didn’t think I could maintain a solid weight loss, but I did with the help of my heart rate monitor.
Best of luck to you. Keeping weight off is a daily thing which needs to become part of your routine and that you look forward to. I hope I can give you a few tips on how to do that most difficult but rewarding parts of losing weight.
When you go into the gym you are likely to see at least one person just overdoing it. They are picking up HUGE amounts of weight, they are leaping around like a tuna fish on a gun boat deck, they are practically turning themselves inside out in mid-air to get in that workout.
‘bet you don’t see these people in the gym every day…just on Saturday. Betcha.
I bet that these people try to get in 7 days worth of workouts in one day. I bet they can do it, too…until they hit 35. Then I bet they stay out of the gym until they get harangued by their doctor decades later about their lousy physical shape. I bet they don’t have pleasant memories of working out, too.
You can avoid that kind of sad end by just not tearing yourself up in the first place. Work out but don’t beat yourself up while you are at it. You want to build yourself up not hurt yourself. And it takes a long time of patient unremunerated toil to become a great looking and feeling specimen.
I had an almost perfect workout today. I didn’t lift 10000 lbs, I didn’t do anything too fast, I savored every move I made, I brushed aside the pain of working out (because it’s supposed to be hard), I enjoyed the solitude of weightlifting in a group (because you are always by yourself). At the end of the class my muscles were happily tingling and I was in a great mood.
The secret was not to overdo, and do what I did well. Be aware of your movements and enjoy them.
I want to have the same experience tomorrow, and the day after that, and the day after that.
It was a great day in the gym. I learned something.
I have recently gone through a spate of ingredients being taken off the market and have had to either reformulate or discontinue some of my perfumes. This is very hard on me and very hard on my clients. I am seldom if ever told it’s going to happen before it does, and I have to find out by ordering and then being told it’s discontinued.
That is awful, but it’s almost as bad if I am told it’s reformulated. Yes, I have bought a small amount of the reformulation. It is usually swill and I have to discontinue my line. I have found one or two reformulations to be fine but the batting average is 90% against.
So, I realized yesterday that one reason I am finding so many items discontinued is because the EU is banning them. So, the supply which is made by European houses has dwindled to the point that it’s gone. So I have to discontinue something lovely like The Scent of Angels. The upshot of that is that there is one less lovely thing in this world. And that is wrong.
Le bas avec les Puritains!
Evidently I am not the only pretentious crank out there. Here is a nice little article from the BBC about the resurgence of fountain pens. Sales of fountain pens on amazon.com have doubled! Read all about it.