Float About... #32 © Copyright Sun/Oct 28, 2001
a bi-monthly newsletter dedicated to Eskesen floaty pen collectors
My dear friends... you are my heroes. I am in awe of your generosity and kindness. The Float Pen Collectors United project for the American Red Cross is a success. Our goal of $1,000 has been reached and exceeded. I knew I could count on my friends to help. To date we have raised $1,900+ for the cause. I am convinced we can reach $2,000. A list of donors to-date has been posted. For whatever reason, if you missed the WTC Bulletin, there is still time to participate in the project. I have extended the deadline for orders, receipt of payment and contributions. If you have pens on-hold please send payment ASAP. Also, many people were under the impression that all of the NYC pens that include a glimpse of the WTC have sold out. Not so! These three NYC pens are still available:
1) Helicopter over NYC (pictured)
2) Tugboat carries King Kong under the Brooklyn Bridge and past cityscape.
3) Red Double Decker bus afloat over NYC backdrop; Lady Liberty in front.
These pens sell for $5 each. $2.50/per pen will be donated to the
American Red Cross. Offer good while supplies last.
Introducing the... Hope Candle. We are far from alone in our charitable efforts. This message was forwarded to collector Sam Ferro from Denmark the morning following the attacks. “Light candles in the windows tonight to show that we feel with America and the tragedy that has hit the American people. Light candles for all the people who have lost their lives and for their families who are now left behind, especially for all the children who will not see their parents again. Let them see that we stand together! Share this message with all you know!"
Sam Ferro is a graphic designer and float pen collector from Arlington, Virginia. Inspired by the message above and a call from a close friend, Sam created the Hope Candle... “as a symbol of hope -- a virtual candle for web sites and computer desktops. It is intended to serve as a non-political, non-military, non-religious symbol". Sam is offering the symbol for public use and suggest that it be put on web sites and/or be forwarded it others who might do so.
Sam adds, “ us-hope.org is growing from a web-based symbol to a true fund raising effort. We are soliciting donations locally for buttons and other materials with the symbol to spread the word, and to hand out to those who donate to us-hope.org. All proceeds will go directly to relief agencies.” Thanks for everything Sam.
For this issue, reel sightings ... are non-existent. Nevertheless, float pens have made a splash in another area of luxury and entertainment. Collector Kim Newell assembled a work-of-art entitled The Floaty Pen Dances for a North Pennsylvania Arts Alliance Members' Show. Kim describes the piece, “I took different floaty pens and scribbled to songs. I mounted the scribblings in plexiglass and hung them with the pens from a clothing rack I found at Salvation Army, using colored wire". Kim won First Place. Congratulations! Kim... please send photos.
Tune-in Fri/Nov 2nd... for Sandra Watkins floaty debut on Ultimate Kitchens on The Food Network. If you miss it, do not despair, the show will air again on the 24th. The episode is entitled Chicago Firehouse; Diner Kitchen #KI1E04. Check your local cable listings for times. Sandra is a world traveler and avid pen collector. Her new license plate proudly proclaims her floaty obsession. Float on Sandra!
Sandra spotted a new billboard in San Francisco. The ad for eTrade's online
banking reads, “Free pens or free checking?. You decide." Sandra's reply,
“Hello? That is a total no-brainer for me. (Although not the desired response,
Bill and I continue to watch ... and enjoy The Incurable Collector on the Arts & Entertainment channel every Sunday. Another collectibles program has been launched. This text was borrowed from an email notice that I received about a week ago: “Flea Market Finds with the Kovels is a new weekly national television series broadcast Wednesday nights beginning October 10 on HGTV (Home & Garden Television Network). Hosts Ralph and Terry Kovel, nationally syndicated columnists and well-known antiques and collectible experts, bring their famous mix of experience, instinct, and humor to each half-hour episode”. What the heck. I decided to give it a try. My first episode was Wednesday night 11pm. The show opened with Ralph Kovel playing with a wooden Felix the Cat toy. That got my attention. I actually liked the show. It featured affordable collectibles. To my knowledge, float pens have yet to make an appearance on either program, but as we know, that could change at any time. Stay tuned.
Christina Pleva had some... exciting news to share with her fellow floaty pen collectors. “On Saturday (Oct 13), my boyfriend proposed to me with a floaty pen!!! While on a hot air balloon ride, he presented me with The Tunnel of Love pen. Engraved on the barrel, ‘Christina, Will you marry me?’. Of course I said ‘YES!!!!’ Just thought everyone would like some good news amidst the turmoil of the past couple of weeks. Floating up, up, and away, Christina.” The date has yet to be determined, but the couple intends to give away float pens at their wedding. (Ladies, I know what you are thinking. Where did Christina find this guy and does he have a brother?) Christina... best wishes to you both.
Immediately after issue #31... posted, Dee Paparatto called to order a Hawkeye Breeders Sperm pen. In the last newsletter I asked “How many sperm pens have you seen?” Well... Dee wants the Hawkeye pen as a companion piece for her Demulen sperm pen. This is one you want to watch for. I suspect it is no longer in production, but even so... never hurts to keep your eyes open. The floater is a sperm chasing eggs, over a plain pink backdrop. The caption panel reads “DEMULEN 1/35” followed by a long line of pharmaceutical small print. Dee's call reminds me that drug and medical companies often use float pens for promotional purposes. Next time you visit the doctor's office, bring a pen along and ask the nurses about them. You might score a new pen.
The Law and float pens.... may not be an obvious combination, but they are both colorful pieces of the Harris Lindenfeld puzzle. Harris has hung his cyber shingle out for all to see. In addition to being an attorney and family guy, Harris is a float pen collector. You can view his collection list and get acquainted at http://www.LindenfeldLaw.com
French collector, Jean-Yves Arnoult and family.... visited the USA this summer. In issue #31 I included a photo of the Arnoults visiting with the Hamme family in Pennsylvania.
On August 6th Jean-Yves met with Andy Balbus in NYC. Knowing what a classy guy Andy is, I presumed they would share a fine dining experience. The boys conducted their pen exchange and got acquainted over burgers at the 5th Avenue MacDonald's. Had to be a matter of convenience! The good company made up for the fast food. Meeting declared a success.
Collectors of the earth and sky...
Float pens have many... appealing qualities. They are small, portable, original, fun, functional, charming and cheap! It is the price tag that attracts many newbies. To find an item so special and yet affordable is sheer ecstasy to a collector. While Gwen Garabedian does not consider herself to be web savvy, she has an amazing ability to find wild and crazy sites on the Net. She discovered another collectible... even less expensive than pens. Think gritty, grainy and readily available for FREE. You guessed it? Sand! David Douglass, The Sandman, has a website dedicated to the subject. (NOTE: website long since defunct; Removed May 2015) Douglass, age 44, collects sand from around the world and he is not alone. The International Sand Collectors Society boasts members in 17 countries. The Society has cataloged 11,000 varieties of sand.
In many ways it is like float pen collecting. It would be easy to scoop a handful of sand as a memento from every place that you visit or perhaps trade for samples of sand from places where you have yet to tread. You can't get much cheaper than dirt. If you are looking for an interesting science project, or inexpensive starter collection for yourself or the kids... The Sandman offers collector kits. He welcomes samples from supporters too. Everything you need to know is explained on his website.
I mentioned that I snap photos of... sunsets and clouds. If you have a digital camera and cd burner in your computer, this is an inexpensive hobby. A cd disc retails for about $1.50 and holds 800-1,000 photos. The photos can be incorporated into screen savers, stationery, post cards, stickers, applied to clothing... you name it. Why clouds and sunsets? Like snowflakes, every one is distinctive. When we look to the heavens, we all see the same sky. Our bodies are warmed by the same sun. Our hearts are romanced by the same moon. Yet when you look up, what you see, from where you stand, is your own personal piece of the sky. Take time to smell the roses, but don't forget to look up once in awhile. (No mountains in the sunset photo, it's lake effect clouds over a distant Lake Erie. Both photos were taken from our porch.)
Pen Display & Storage... is always a worthy topic. This summer, Andy Balbus found two magnificent
antique cabinets to house his float pen collection. The first one is a wooden 20-drawer antique printers' cabinet.
This style of cabinet was designed to hold trays of type (fonts) that were used before the days of automatic presses.
The cabinet had been completely refinished by the dealer, so Andy had little clean-up work to do. He did ask the dealer to knock-out all of the little partitions to create more workable space. The drawers have since been lined with felt.
The smaller unit is an 11-drawer Bakelite dental supply cabinet. It was
used to hold fake teeth, likely for use in the dental making process. This
piece was pen-ready. Both terrific finds.
Pens past, present and future...
Head directly to Float Aways... These are pens that have been discontinued. Most of the designs in the Float Aways Category are available in quantities of 5 or less pens. These will not be restocked.
These pens sold out, but have since returned to inventory. The picturesque Chili's Bar & Grill pen (under Main List/Advertise) is back. It comes exclusively in the twist n click style with a red barrel ($4.25). The Simpson's Bart and Homer tip n strip pens arrived shortly after issue #31 was published. Find all of The Simpson pens under Main/List Cartoons.
The Zodiac set of 12 pens from the Netherlands is back momentarily. I only have three sets. They sell for $36/set. No singles! Zodiac set. Note the date is in Euro format (as pictured). I will NOT be getting them again. Several Icelandic pens have been restocked.Scroll down the Foreign Category to find Iceland.
Nancy Nerenberg, of Float Art Design... has been extremely busy. Nancy, family and Float Art have moved from the San Francisco area to Oregon. Nancy is a die-hard float pen collector, but she is also a pen designer. Nancy acts as liaison between pen client and distributor, guiding customers through the design and production process. My October list includes several of Float Art's newest designs. One of my faves...
Newlyweds, Jessica and Jeff, float behind a sign board. The sign board is an ad for a seafood joint and reads Eat It Raw. As their images pass behind the board, their faces are captured in a small opening. On the caption panel, Jessica stands beside her horse and Jeff appears under a “Pro Shop” sign. Nice touch.
The following Float Art designs can be found under New Arrivals/Advertise. The Baltimore-Annapolis Hash House pen is available in a classic pen or Eskesen's floaty keyring-whistle. Three women, hand-in-hand float in the Breast Cancer twist n click pen. The message on the Camas Police Department pen is loud and clear... “Don't Drink and Drive”. Saturn burns brightly in the Cassini-Huygens classic pen. More...
A beautiful mermaid floats in the Falun Dafa pen. The Marketplace Development pen features a woman pushing a cart through an airport shopping area. A beautiful vintage square rigger is tattered and torn after a sea battle in the McBooks floaty. A cute blue bear marches past famous monuments in the Mustela pen. Nimble ballerina Rachel dances in both the classic and twist n click styles. A day at the pool provides the backdrop for the Sun promo pen. The Work Injury pen drops a man from a ladder onto his head!
If you would like to have a custom pen made, you can explore Nancy's Float Art Designs website. Send snail mail enquiries to: Float Art Design, Nancy Nerenberg, 853 Hillview Drive, Ashland, OR 97520.
Animals... Four new see-thru clear window designs: Frogs afloat on a lily pad, river fishes swimming through native grasses (pictured) and several varieties of Sharks cruise deep ocean waters. From the frigid waters of Iceland... Icelandic Whales. Please forgive me. I have trouble scanning the clear pens. The pens are much nicer than depicted.
US/Locations... category offers a new Southwest Charm featuring Kokopelli, a Salt Lake City Biplane and a revised GA/Atlanta with a horse and carriage.
Pen future is looking good...
The Hawkeye Breeders Service pen sold out... but I heard that Hawkeye has a new edition in-the-works. I won't make any promises, but I honestly think I can get some of them to share.
Miranda Wittebol has organized Dutch collectors to create their very own collectors pen. Last I heard the design is going to be a vertical layout. Eskie will be wearing wooden shoes and marching over tulips. Miranda will offer the pens on her website and I will also have some for sale.
“Boo” to you... Halloween approaches. Here in Ohio the weather has abruptly turned from moderate to freezing cold. We awoke to snow flurries Friday. It was brisk enough Saturday that only a handful of outside vendors set-up at our local flea market. I caught a glimpse of a doe standing just outside the corn field tonight. Soon the corn will all but disappear and snow will cover the fields for as far as we can see.
Then we will all be in the float pen dead zone. The time of year when there are very few new designs to be found. All of our tourist spots will be closed for the winter season. Consequently, pens will be hard to come-by. I will do what I can to surprise you in the next issue of Float About. Feeling a bit patriotic these days? I assure you that pens with just such a theme are at the factory as we speak. I will certainly have them for issue #33. Eskesen is also sending History of America sets to be sold with most of the proceeds going to a charitable organization. They should arrive any day now.
Bill and I still have two more craft fairs to go. I will be unavailable the weekend of November 9-11th. If we can arrange for house sitters to come back so soon, we will also take a break around Thanksgiving. Otherwise I will be sticking pretty close to home.
I almost forget to mention OneSuite.com. Some weeks ago Gwen Garabedian suggested a long distance phone company that offers a cardless phone service. The rates are 2.9 cents per minute. I tried it. We both like it. The only time you pay a connect charge is when you use a pay phone. Any time I can talk with my son, Josh, at $1.74/hour, I am interested. I can visit my account online for an up-to-date journal of all calls. Because we have all seen companies like this come and go... Gwen recommended that I purchase a small amount of call time to start. The more customers they have, the longer they will be in biz! All of your questions will be answered on their website. OneSuite.com.
Life Beyond ATA (after the terrorist attacks)...
I know some of you have been... through hell and back during the last two months. There are members of our float community that work at the Pentagon, others near Ground Zero, some are serving in the military. We have collectors employed by emergency services, airlines, security and assorted agencies entrenched in the recovery effort. Yes, we even have volunteers working to clean-up the WTC debris. We are part of a very compassionate community.
Since September 11th many of our floaty families have been struggling with every day life. Their problems totally unrelated to the terrorist attacks. Life and (unfortunately) death seem to go on business-as-usual. A close pen friend said goodbye to her brother for the last time and another friend just buried her mother. Brother and mother both victims of cancer.... a disease that isn't encumbered by current events. During this horrible period in our history, we still maintain a balance-of-life. I was relieved to hear another collector has been declared “cured” after her cancer treatments. Others are getting engaged, married, having babies, anxiously awaiting the arrival of a new grandchild, enjoying job promotions and yes ... winning art awards. The life cycle, for better or worse, remains unchanged.
It has been said that this is the “end of the world as we know it”. In some respects, I suppose that is true. However that doesn't mean we can't go on to create a world better than we have ever known. Recent events have resurrected some old fashioned building blocks. Respect, love, kindness, spirituality, compassion, and never underestimate faith-in-the-human-race. We have a renewed appreciation for family, friends, and life. It's time to stack our blocks tall and strong. Break away from the TV news and do something that will make a difference.
Thank you ... for all you do.
Your efforts keep the world afloat.
FLOAT ABOUT Bulletin #3... © Copyright Sun/December 2, 2001
a bi-monthly newsletter dedicated to Eskesen floaty pen collectors
Happy Holidays to you! Without a doubt, we enjoyed the best Thanksgiving ever. Dinner with the Bright family was fantastic. Josh was home for Thanksgiving weekend for the first time in a very long time. I hope your holiday was just as festive? Are you ready for the next one? Now that we have crossed into December, I feel a sense of panic. You too?
Issue #33 of Float About was due to release December 28th, but I have a few issues to address before the holiday frenzy is in full force. Also, there isn't any point in posting FA during the holiday season. Collectors are far too distracted to enjoy a newsletter of any kind. Besides, it is the season to enjoy the company of family and friends. Issue #33 will post in the New Year. In the meantime, I do have some incredible new pen designs to share with you. They are just too cool to hold until 2002. They are all in stock and ready to ship.
The USA/Peace pens have arrived... in time for the holidays. There are four new designs with USA or peace themes. The inner workings of the pen are almost visible through the new translucent barrels. Barrel colors are red or blue... of course. The two designs (above) are in the classic style. Priced at just $3.25 each. An American Eagle floats in the pen on the left. The American flag floats over many of our treasured national monuments in the second pen. This design has been used before, but it has a brand new caption panel. This is the first time I have offered classic pens in the translucent colors.
The next two pens (below) are available in the twist n click style with slanted tops. They also have the new translucent barrels. Priced at $3.50 each. In the pen left, the dove floats. The pen on the right features people in motion.
Yes, you are right... they would make nice stocking stuffers. I have an offer that will make them even more attractive. Purchase the USA/Peace Set of four pens for $10, just $2.50 each! Friends, neighbors, mail carriers, waitresses, co-workers... can you think of anyone that doesn't need a pen?
The Float Pen Collectors United Red Cross Project...
is a MAJOR success... As you know, we have more than doubled our original goal of $1,000. Several collectors have expressed concern about giving the money to the American Red Cross. Despite controversy regarding the organization I remain confident that we made the right choice.
The American Institute of Philanthropy is a non-profit organization that rates charitable organizations on results and performance. I consulted their website and others. To date the American Red Cross remains on the AIP's 'A' list. When in doubt about a charity, this is an excellent resource... www.charitywatch.org
I knew if I waited just one more week to make our donation, we would hit $2,500... and we did. Our final figure is $2,556.84. When the electronic deposit from PayPal reaches my bank, I will visit our local chapter of the American Red Cross and ask how to proceed. I want to assure our funds are designated for the victims of Sept 11th and related relief efforts.
If you made a donation, but your name is missing from the Donors List, contact me immediately. I made the list, checked it twice, but no matter if you are naughty or nice... I may have overlooked an entry. The list is posted on my site and a hard copy will accompany our check. Thank you all for your generous contributions. We made a difference.
Eskesen applauds Lupita Vargas... for donating the WTC pens to our charitable cause. They too wanted to make a contribution. Eskesen has presented me with many History of America sets to be sold with most of the proceeds going to charity.
The set includes six pens in a cellophane box. Sorry, no singles. The complete History of America set sells for $10 with $8 of each sale going to charity. Brian, at Eskesen, suggested the Salvation Army. They have an impeccable reputation for helping the needy and are currently working at Ground Zero. The 'SA' also appears on the AIP's 'A list' of charities. Purchase as many sets as you like. No limits. Thank you Eskesen... we can make this work!
Media Sightings ...
Thurs/Nov 22, 2001... Beverly Broadstone reported via email: “Last night on the Bernie Mac Show, which airs on FOX, there was a stripper pen sighting. The show, which is relatively new, is about a man who agrees to take care of his sister's three kids. One of the kids, a 9 or 10 year old boy, borrowed a stripper pen from his friend. The Uncle confiscated the pen, but also took pleasure in its' magic. In the end, the little boy suggested to his Uncle that it might be time for him to return the pen to his young friend.”
Apparently Cameron Manheim, of The Practice, introduced her custom made float pen on an episode of Access Hollywood. I didn't catch that one either. I was one of many collectors that finally saw Sandra Watkin's appearance on the Food Channel's 'Ultimate Kitchens' program. I just love her diner style kitschy-nette. Her float pen and other collections are incorporated into the interior design. Very cool. You see, it takes a lot of eyes and ears to keep up with so many float pen sightings. I await your reports.
Pens past, present and future...
Many of the October 28th... New Arrival pens are still available. Find the absolute latest entries at the top of the New Arrivals page. New designs include an Ericsson pen from Float Art, several entries from popular float pen artist Jack Keely of Floaty. Java Joe, Fancy Felines, and Camping trip are my top three favorites in the Keely group. However... they are ALL collection worthy. Four of his pens also feature sports themes. Artist, Sue Wright's 'mmm good' pen is a hoot too. The most unique addition would have to be the Sacred Soil pen. It does not include a moving photoramic image, but rather real dirt. Blessed soil from the Amet Ayalon Valley in Israel is secured inside the pen.
The Texas Longhorn pen is a revision of an older design. It truly has a brand new look. The Vintage Truck design is fabulous. The rich colors and depth of design lend a warm and realistic feel. There is something for every gift exchange and stocking! If you are unsure... I can whip up a gift certificate. OH! For those that missed the Royal Wedding pens, Miranda sent another handful of them to me ($4 each).
At present, I am gathering... pens for issue #33. With a lot of luck the next Float About will post between the middle to end of January. There are some fabulous designs in-the-works and I will do my best to reel them in. For now I am determined to make the best of the holidays. Josh is coming home for a week. We are looking forward to making glass beads together. I hope you find some fun in your hectic schedule too. See you next year.... Diana
FLOAT ABOUT... Diana Andra, 1676 Millsboro Rd, Mansfield, OH 44906-3374
phone 419/529-8876 (11 am - midnight)
Copyright © Sun/Oct 28, 2001