FLOAT ABOUT... © Copyright Fri/May 5th, 2000 Issue #25

Tax time has passed... and after days of compiling receipts and invoices, it was such a relief to finally reach that bottom line. As the receipts were arranged chronologically, my year began to unfold before me. I remember the afternoon we went to that awesome office supply auction and afterwards enjoyed a Mexican feast with friends. While this financial journal is void of adjectives, expressions of emotion, or even thought... it remains an accurate expression of a year in passing. It was an odd, but good year. I hope you slipped through April 15 unscathed? Assuming that tax refund is burning a hole in your pocket...

The Beatles return
to Liverpool...

...in this fabulously fresh Beatles design. It comes to us from the same distributor that created the sensational Abbey Road and Yellow Submarine pens. Faces of John, George, Ringo and Paul can be seen in the windows of their psychedelic limo. Find this sizzling hot The Beatles return to Liverpool pen under New Arrivals/Celebrity.

Eskesen to hold its annual ... Visitors Day on May 29th. To celebrate their anniversary, the company opens their doors to collectors, distributors, designers and business associates. Personally, I have yet to make the journey, but between us we will know a few people at the party. Visitors will have an opportunity to see how pens are constructed from the earliest stages of artwork through the finished product. If there is even a remote chance you can go, contact the factory for details. So far, ten collectors have indicated they plan to attend.

Collectors rush to sign-up on E's website... and they are wise to do so. Eskesen chose, at random, a group of collectors to receive a surprise package. Beverly Broadstone was the first to mention receipt of such a parcel. It included one of the new Eskesen pencils. If you were not one of the lucky ones, don't take it personally... I wasn't either. I will do what I can to make it up to you with some incredible new designs.

Yes, after a long absence, floating action mechanical pencils have been resurrected. The modern pencils do not resemble their vintage predecessors. At first glance, they look just like the twist n click ballpoints. You may have to hone your hunting skills. Pencils are already available to vendors, but because they are more expensive than pens, you won't find them on every street corner. This is a scan of the Eskesen pencil designed to promote their new product.

Promotional mechanical float pencil new from Eskesen

The caption panel includes the Eskesen logo + 'for out of this world creative ideas... use ESKESEN Floating Action Pens'. The text is printed over a star-studded metallic blue panel. I was NOT able to obtain enough pencils to share with the masses, but I have the same artwork and caption panel applied to a twist n click pen. If you appreciate advertising pens... any promo pen from Eskesen is an extraordinary asset.

For those of you that meant to visit the Eskesen site, but have yet to get there.... http://www.Eskesen.com will deliver you right to their front door. For those of you receiving the newsletter via snail mail... I am sure you have a friend or relative that has a computer. What are you waiting for? Sign-up today!

An Action Packed Floating Future... Who knows what advances will be made in the industry over the next few years? As collectors we might underestimate the importance and effect our ideas have on vendors and distributors. Are there any specific designs you would like to see come alive in a float pen? It is unlikely pens will ever sprout wings and fly... even a hundred years from now, but maybe twist n clicks will get a top or floating action fountain pens will be developed!? Are you keeping great ideas for a new float item a secret? Whatever for? Float pen distributors read Float About, so I know they are listening. What have you got in mind?

Movie Sighting... courtesy of Josie Brugada. Josie spotted a float pen in the film, The War, starring Kevin Costner. Leading man, Kevin, carries an angel pen. The pen appears quite a few times throughout the movie. I haven't had a chance to rent the video, but I will. I get a cheap thrill when I see a float pen on the silver screen. Thanks for the pointer Josie.

Includes the introduction of a new Bridge pen from Miranda Wittebol. Miranda has the pens for trade. I have about 15 to sell/trade. If you are a fan of the game, don't hesitate. This design is in short supply. Miranda is off to Disneyland Paris, but as soon as she returns the folk dancing design should be in. She is going to send them to me straightaway, hopefully accompanied by news of pens from the park.

The Collectors Unite pen idea ... was submitted to Eskesen. A draft has been received. Revisions will soon be on their way. Project participants will have their names included in the caption panel. Miranda will handle the European packages. Estimated cost for 40 pens is $56 including shipping/handling. I will be able to make an accurate quote when the pens are ordered.

The design remains a vertical format, but is has been updated. The colorful hot air balloon is now stationary in the foreground at the top of the pen. The floater is cascading float pens. A globe rests at the bottom of the background panel. Blue skies and white clouds keep the pen light and bright. I have started a list of 'interested' participants. Please reconfirm if you are still interested. When the sample pen is made, I will scan it and send images to everyone on the list. You can decide if you really want to buy-in when the final design is presented. Until then you are under no obligation.

Road warriors, Mavis & Ray Francis... of Ridgecrest, CA have their very own float pen. The artwork reflects a common scene with the Mavis clan. The Mavis camper departs the home of their children and grand kids. All six grandchildren appear in the pen. Michelle (left) and Ashley (right) stand in the foreground panel. In the background, Chris & Nick appear with dog 'Holly' on the left. Krysta & Michael stand with dog 'Max' on the right. Available under New Arrivals/Advertise category.

San Francisco Collector... Sandra Watkins, has dedicated many hours to organize a benefit for Destination Foundation. The event, is entitled Tails of the City. A gathering where '100 creative visionaries celebrate the Microsoft Mouse as art.' Computer mice have been decorated and signed by a long list of celebrities to include: Kate Spade, Douglas Coupland, Bonnie Raitt, Stanely Mouse, Bill Gates and even the cast of the Simpsons. Visit their website to purchase tickets to attend the May 18th event. Can't make it? You can participate in the auction online... (NOTE: link defunct; removed May 2015.)

Sarah James... a collector at Peregrine Publishers, sparked the creation of an ad pen for the company. I apologize for the scan, the pen does not have the green overtones, it is a very clean and crisp image. A white Peregrine floats over a background of chemistry, biology and psychology icons. A computer sets in the left foreground. It's a beauty! Congratulations Sarah.

Hooked on softball?... You can get your very own softball pen from the Amateur Softball Hall of Fame in Oklahoma. Available in twist n click and classic style at (NOTE: Sorry, pen sold out)

A big 'thank you'... to Sue Buetow, Beth Glover, Norm Kautt, Linda McCormick, Craig Wilson and all of my scouts. They each contributed to this issue in a very personal way. Your support is so appreciated.

La Nea Conner... still has a handful of duplicates for sale at a very reasonable price. You can contact her to see what designs are still available.

Space...universally there seems to be plenty of it, but have you looked in your closets or garage lately? Bill and I joke about building a store-n-lock on our second lot. It would have a minimum of ten bays with large doors on the outside. A hallway, down the center, would allow access to each individual room. Each stall would be dedicated to a single collection. On second thought, I am sure 10 bays won't be enough. Maybe we just need to work on our organizational skills. Need more displays.

DISPLAYS... Snug-as-a-bug fit! The gridwork displays that I offer for sale may not require a hard drive or battery, but even so... a small bug has been detected. To date buyers have been very satisfied with their displays, with one minor criticism. The pens tend to 'flop' or 'spin' around within the gridwork. Several ideas came to mind, faucet washers being the most promising, but they were far too expensive.

Unknown to the rest of the world, Sue Buetow was already working on the problem. She found a very reliable wholesale source for washers. Place a washer in each square of the gridworks' base and it holds the pen in place. Sue's shopping savvy made them an affordable solution. The item is #00 1/2" beveled rubber washer. Do a price comparison at hardware, plumbing and do-it-yourself stores in your area. If you can't find washers at the right price, I am offering Washer Kits. Order a kit with a display and the price is a flat $5 for 98 washers. If you already have a display and need a kit shipped separately, the price is $6.50. Thanks Sue B... you are a honey!

Glamorous Souvenir Glasses ... and so affordable. Our local fleamarket takes place the last full weekend of the month from February-November. We were on our way to the car last Saturday when a set of 8 glass tumblers caught my eye. They were in excellent condition and just $5 for the entire set.

Such glasses are frequently found in the second-hand marketplace. About the picture, I know... I cheated. Not all of the pens in the Paris glass are from Paris, or even France. These pens represent my most recent trades with French collector, Jean-Yves Arnoult. The glass holds 30 pens supported by paper rolled into tubes of different heights. The eight tumblers include: Athens, Bombay, The Hague, Havana, London, Madrid, Paris, and Rome. Someday they will all be filled and the group will make an outstanding exhibition. An inexpensive, yet interesting presentation. I couldn't resist.

Monuments from around the world... are illustrated on this sturdy white cardboard display distributed by Eskesen. The flap below the 'E' in 'SOUVENIRS' is a tab that locks the box to the lid. Originally designed for an account in Paris as a point-of-sale display, we first discovered it in use at a souvenir store in Canada. It measures 9.5" long x 6" wide x 2.5" deep. Box is divided into four compartments. For sale under New Arrivals/Related Products.

Special OFFERS.... If your order = $50 or more (excluding shipping) you may order one Souvenir display box for the special price of $2.50. If your order is over $100 (excluding shipping) you will receive a FREE Souvenir box! Offer good while supplies last or until issue #26 is released, whichever comes first.

Buy ANY 15 pens from anywhere on the list. Then get .50 off each and every additional pen you purchase from the 'MAIN LIST'. (Pens that are already discounted are excluded.) This offer is good for the next two weeks. (Expires Fri/May 19th).

Move over Western Union... PayPal has arrived. As promised, I have opened a PayPal account. To date, several eBay buyers have paid me through this unique service. I must admit... it's amazing, easy, efficient and free. Payments are instant. I have linked my account to one of my low-limit credit cards so that I may make cyber payments too. If you are interested in the service click http://www.PayPal.com

The Postal Wars Continue... I have had several packages opened by Customs en route to and from the Netherlands. Even though you pay extra to hasten delivery, Customs reserves the right to delay ANY package. When Adrie Lupker's pens did not arrive in a timely manner, we assumed they were lost. I sent a replacement package. Package one and two arrived about the same time. The first envelope had been opened by Amsterdam Customs. Though there was no indication that it was a commercial package, Customs decided to charge Adrie a duty/tax for the pens. She fought the charge and eventually received a refund. The goods were delayed, but outside of the nuisance, no was harm done.

Now for the USA side of this coin. Marnella Bak shipped trade pens to me from the Netherlands. USA Customs sliced the envelope open. Somehow two deep gouges were made across the windows of two pens. All of the pens were disassembled and parts were missing. One pen was so badly damaged it lost all of it's fluid. The package arrived with green tape all over it giving credit to the US Customs department. This was in no way Marnella's fault.

A discussion with a supervisor at our Main PO made it clear that Customs is not connected to the US Postal Service. The supervisor suggested that I call Customs 800 number. I did. A message was left on their machine over three months ago. I have yet to receive a response. I doubt that I ever will. I do not begrudge Customs for their zealous search for drugs and contraband, but that does not warrant or justify the careless destruction of goods. The supervisor suggested that all foreign and domestic packages be insured. Let me get this straight... 'We should go to the additional expense of insuring every package we send to protect it against improper handling by the very same people that we pay and entrust to handle our mail in the first place? The response... a sheepish 'Yes'.

On the matter of International Trades... your suggestions, regarding my theoretical problem with a missing package sent to Miranda, were very insightful. The ideas have been combined.

Pens Past, Present and Future... The following designs were sold out, but have returned. Now back in stock: Advertise/Kellogg's Factory Crew, Cartoons/Woody Woodpecker as 'Mad Chemist'. Tour of Britain: York and Oxford Graduate pens. I am pleased to announce our Scottish Nessie, the Loch Ness Monster is also back! The Floaty Nation graduation pen is once again available. The banner in the background reads 'Class of 2000'.

New Arrivals ... of the Advertisement variety begin with: Miranda's Bridge pen, followed by Eskesen's Promo Pen, and Fort Atkinson Relay for Life.

This Hyundai advertising pen cleverly suggests their Coupe is a chick magnet. To my knowledge, this pen is not scheduled for distribution in the USA. (Twist n Click)

The Peregrine Publications promotional pen is in limited supply. I apologize for my inadequate scan.

Collectors and Pez-heads will get a chuckle from the Pez-a-Thon 2000 pen. The Sabre signature floats in the company travel promotion pen. Many of you have been waiting for this one... Pour a shot of Scotch Whisky into a glass and watch the amber liquid magically return to it's bottle.

The Animal category... is bursting with new entries from the I Love Animals designed by a Netherlands distributor. The earlier I Love Cats pen has been joined by I Love Cows, a frisky Labrador pup jumps in the I Love Dogs pen, I Love Dolphins, and I Love Horses. In addition, three more pens arrived from Holland: A stag and doe float in the Bosdieren (Dutch for 'Forest Animals') pen. A scorpion scurries in the 'Insects' pen. A brightly colored poison dart frog hides in the jungle. Don't overlook this unique pen from the USA. The clear window provides a see-thru view of an alligator swimming in a swamp.

Fresh designs from Europe ... four beautiful additions: Blackpool illuminated, child rides a mare in the Weston-Super-Mare and check out the new Windsor Castle pen. Before I forget this Paris pen again... the conceal/reveal-twist n click arrived in plenty of time for inclusion in issue #24, but I misplaced it. It was lost, but now it is found, enjoy Paris.

The Beatles return to Liverpool
may be the only new Celebrity pen, but it's enough!

Locations/US... has some interesting pens from all over the country. Two brand new designs for Myrtle Beach are inbound. I will scan and describe them as soon as they arrive. The sun is the floater in this super cool Los Angeles surfer pen. Austin Texas is crazy for bats in their latest Austin Bats pen. Catch a seat on the Ferry to San Juan, Washington, while they last. Three brand new designs on their way as we speak. South Carolina Myrtle Beach, two designs: Golf & Parasailer. The third pen, Nevada/Las Vegas/Slots. The trio should be in my hands by Wed/May 10.

Twist n Clicks... turned Classics. Were you holding off on the Alfred Hitchock pen because it is a twist n click? It is now available in the classic style exclusively at Float About. Same story with Curious George 'fishing' and 'chases yellow hat'.

The Future... Watch for Eskesen pens in Korea. Currently Korea's Lotte World Amusement Park has pens, but look beyond. Many pens in Korea have gone unnoticed. The United Kingdom continues to forge ahead with many delightful designs... from John O'Groats to Land's End. In time, they may be added to my list. Have you visited the new baseball stadium, Pac Bell Park, in San Francisco? 'E' pens are there.

Websites from two collectors... have been added to my list of related sites. Stephen Kenneth and Diane Trinique have recently opened new float pen webpages. Be sure to drop in and say 'hello'.

That's it for now... We never did get around to a vacation. It's too late now! Our craft season is about to begin. The first art fair for the year will be in Skokie, Illinois. I will not be available May 19-23rd. Business as usual until then. Don't hesitate to send your orders in my absence. They will be handled in the order of receipt immediately upon my return. Issue #26 is due for release July 5th. I will do the best I can, but don't hold your breath. We have two shows in July.

Some of you are aware that I was sick in January and February. Thank you for your concern. A visit to the doc on March 6 determined that I have high blood pressure. The prescription to lower my blood pressure eliminated my migraines! We have made some life changes. A trip to the gym twice a week was the first big step. I know some of you were worried. I assure you I am fine and getting better with each day. Sending best wishes your way.
Adios Floatios! Diana

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