Float About #46... © Copyright Tues/Nov 9, 2004
a bi-monthly newsletter dedicated to Eskesen floaty pen collectors

This issue may not be early... but at least it's not months late. Bill and I have both been distracted. Between the election and work, it's been a busy couple of months. After the election, I realized that I have been neglecting those that are dear to me. I am making an effort to set time aside for the little things that make me smile. That would be float pens, home, and of course... family. Since float pens are the passion we share... let's start there.

News from the Factory... Eskesen Promo Floaty
Eskesen's website is really a work-in-progress... I suggest you visit at least every other month to keep up with the changes. The Collectors Corner continues to serve and entertain Eskesen floaty fans everywhere. Every time I pop-in I have to play with the interactive build-a-pen feature. In fact, the Eskesen promo pen, pictured left, appears on the site. It is also on the New Arrivals list this issue.

Over the last four months, I know a lot of collectors have signed-up for one of the four subscription packages now offered by Eskesen. Well, it's November! The first part of your subscription will be shipped by the middle of this month. Is the suspense killing you? I am extremely excited. When your first box arrives, I am anxious to hear all about it. What pens did you get? When you opened the package, what was your initial reaction? No doubt about it... a subscription for pens is a fabulous idea. When it finally arrives, please touch base with me.

OH... and don't forget. To avoid bubbles, place the package in a room with moderate temperatures and leave it unopened for at least 9 hours. It doesn't always work, but the slow acclimation helps prevent bubbles.

Speaking of subscriptions... Tone Helen Hanken reported the Norwegian collectors had a blast at their autumn meeting. As collectors arrived, they were assigned a number. Later that evening a number was drawn and the lucky winner of the free Platinum Subscription Package was announced. The package was graciously donated to the group by Eskesen.

Norwegian Winners

Bjarne Lokey won the drawing, but his wife Inger Moberg Lokey is the floaty fan of the family. Mr Lokey presented his wife with his subscription. Now that is true love! In the photo, Tone signs the certificate from Eskesen. Bjarne watches and Inger displays two colorful E promo brochures that were included in the package. Congratulations to the Lokeys and their floaty fortune!

Now it is our turn. That's right... Eskesen has generously donated the same package for one very fortunate Float About reader. For those of you unfamiliar with this phenomenal offer... let me explain.

Eskesen offers four different pen subscriptions to cover all the bases from casual to serious float pen collector.
The supremo Platinum Package includes:

Thurs/Nov 18, 2004
The Drawing has CLOSED. It is now too late to enter.
Feeling lucky? No purchase necessary! To be eligible for the drawing for a FREE one-year Platinum Subscription from Eskesen, there are just two simple rules.

1) You must currently be on my mailing list. If you received an email notice for this issue of the newsletter, you can assume you are on my list.

2) Using the SAME email address I have on file for you, send an email to me with the following message in the subject line... 'Going for the Platinum!' If I can match your email to my list, I will respond via email with your assigned number. You should hear from me within a 24 hour period. Don't forget... I am processing orders in the meantime. One entry per collector.

So, whether your number is 1 or 501, you have an equal chance of winning. Just to keep everything above board... I have exempted myself from the drawing. Entries must be received by midnight (EST), Wed/November 17th. I will prepare and send the final list of numbered collectors to Miranda Wittebol, in Holland. When she confirms receipt of the list, I will inform Eskesen how many collectors have signed-up for the drawing.

The folks at Eskesen will randomly choose the lucky number! Once Eskesen has chosen the number, Miranda and I will check our list to find the name that matches the winning number. We will both send the name of the winner to E. When they verify Miranda and I have both provided the same name, the winner will be notified. The winner's name will be announced in Float Along and again in issue #47 of Float About. We have a time zone to work around. It could take 24-36 hours.

This is an exciting offer. I would like to thank Eskesen for this fantastic opportunity. Float pens bring us all a little slice of happiness. This special gift will make one Float About collector jump for joy! Will it be you?

Spam blockers are standing between you and .... Float About. When I sent email notification to announce issue #45 had posted, at least 100 pieces of mail bounced back. At least half of those were returned by spam blockers. Set your blocker to allow mail from iAndra@FloatAbout.com if you wish to continue receiving email notification.

If you had to purge your entire collection... but you were allowed to keep one pen, which pen would it be? Why?

Venice, Italy is where it all began... for Wisconsin collector, Gina Carlson. Venice is her favorite place in all the world. How fitting that Gina found her first floaty there. She went on to say, that if she had to choose a set of pens “it would be my Royal Caribbean Warner Brothers set of five. They are adorable.” Cruising is Gina's preferred mode of travel. She finds a bounty of floaty pens along the way.

Stan and Barbara Weber were discussing... their absolute favorite pens. They were quick to agree it was their first set. Barbara received two floaty pens as a birthday gift from a close friend. Both pens were from the Ringling Brothers Circus in Florida. Since Stan is an ardent circus collector, Barbara graciously presented him with the clown pen. Barbara, fan of the mighty elephant, kept the Pachyderm pen for herself. Her collection consists of 16 elephant floaty pens, while Stan has amassed 400+ pens. Even so, the first set remains the most precious. Lombard

California collector, Craig Wilson... tells me that his floaty collection started in San Francisco too. It was way back in 1985 when he bought the Powell Street Cable Car design. Craig admits, “I was hopelessly hooked”. However, his favorite would be a different SF pen (pictured right). “The Lombard Street pen with the station wagons reminds of the day Terri and I were married on the grounds of the Botanical Gardens in Golden Gate park, in an arbor overlooking the fountain. That day our driver surprised us by braving Lombard's hairpin turns in a stretch limousine!”

When Catherine Johnson's family lived close to NYC..., they frequently visited the World Trade Center buildings. Catherine was just 5 or 6 years old when she acquired the WTC pen that features King Kong scaling the Towers. Twenty three years later, she still has the pen. Her attachment for this particular design has deepened since the events of 9-11. This is definitely Catherine's keeper.

Keith Bartlett, a pen collector from the UK... has fond memories of a holiday visit to Disneyland Paris in 1997. The park was celebrating their 5th anniversary. Keith purchased his first floaty there. The park has since changed it's name more than once, making that original pen extra special.

Christina Pleva found it very difficult... to pick just one pen from her collection. "So many of the pens in my collection are sentimental. The tunnel of love pen that my husband proposed with is no doubt at the top of the list." She is equally fond of her pens from the Cayman Islands. “They each bear such fond memories of vacations with my family.”

The 1962 Seattle World's Fair... mechanical floaty pencil is Richard Wickberg's fave. He visited the Fair many times, but only recently purchased the now vintage pencil. Before this major acquisition, Richard would have chosen his Princess Marguerite floaty pen and pencil set. The PM was a tourist ship that sailed between Seattle and Victoria B.C.

You probably have a ‘top ten’ list... of pens from your personal collection. I think we all do. For me, picking one, and only one pen, wasn't as hard as I thought it might be. Like Catherine, I went straight back to the beginning. It was the spring of 1994. Bill and I were on vacation in San Francisco. I had been collecting Felix the Cat since the early 80's. I was anxious to get to Bright Ideas for a Felix fix. It was love at first sight when I saw the series of five Felix the Cat float pens. The rest is floaty history. The scan does not do this pen justice. It is actually rich with color and clearly defined.

Felix the Cat on his magic carpet.
Designed by Bright Ideas Unlimited, San Francisco.
No longer in production.

The Buffalo, NY snowman pen... was chosen by Christine Petrella for three reasons. Early on, in their relationship, her husband purchased the pen for her. Coincidentally, he grew up in a small town just outside of Buffalo. Then there was the time Christine, her 10-month old son and in-laws were stranded overnight on the Buffalo through-way by a lake-effect snow. “It was quite an adventure!” The Buffalo snowman pen has earned first place in her heart.

This pen was on my list for many years. I doctored an old scan.

Media Sightings...
Beverly Broadstone forwarded a media sighting... from her sister, Ruby Kuegeman. Beverly reported: “Ruby emailed this morning (Sept 22) and said she can't remember which talk show it was, but Patrick Stewart of Star Trek: The Next Generation flashed a floaty pen. They were talking about the fact Patrick undergone an angioplasty a few months back. Patrick said he felt pretty good, and as a reminder, he pulled out a see-through floaty pen with a piece of the vein as the floater. I'm struggling to remember what TV show I was watching!! I hope someone else saw it so they can relate it to Diana.”

Beverly guessed it was the clear window pen with a gold stent in it. I bet she is right. Ruby was dozing off through the program, so it must have been a late-night talk show. Did anyone else see it?

Go Doug Yeo! His Serpent CD... received a glowing review in Fanfare Magazine. The link has since been removed from their website, but I requested a copy of the text from Douglas. He was quick to respond. I thought you might enjoy this excerpt, taken directly from the review.

“It is obvious that Yeo meant to entertain as well as to educate, and this lively CD succeeds at doing both brilliantly. The performances are expert and loving, and the production values demonstrate the utmost in care and discernment.”

“It is unlikely that you will find this CD through most retailers. The easiest way to purchase it is to go to www.yeodoug.com. It will set you back $15, but this is money well spent. While youíre there, you might want to pick up a Douglas Yeo Floaty Pen for a few dollars more. (Apparently, floaty pens, like serpents and Beanie Babies, are at the center of intense cult-like activity. Donít say I didnít warn you.) (Raymond Tuttle)”

No word on.... the upcoming December magazine article, but I will keep you posted.

Collectors News...
Tone Helen Hanken of Norway... is beaming with excitement. Look at her new float pen cabinets! Are you green with envy? I know I am. Looks like Tone is one very happy collector.

Tone proudly displays her new cabinets, then she demonstrates how easy it is to remove an entire shelf. Note the glass front is fastened directly to the shelf? What a simple alternative to framed doors. The glass would be so easy to clean.

The idea for the cabinets came out of the Norwegian meeting in Lillehammer earlier this year. Tone presented drawings to an old friend from college, Harald Sørvik. At age 67, Harald is retired. His hobby is woodworking and he is good at it. He agreed to build a few standard and custom units.

To keep the cost of shipping reasonable, the standard units were designed with five shelves to accommodate 1,500 pens. Tone received her custom-made cabinets last Friday. As you can see, she has been busy organizing her collection. Each of her units have eight shelves. From the photos, I would guesstimate the units are about 5 ft. high, 30 in. wide and 10 inches deep. If I were to ask, I think Tone would provide exact measurements. However, if I were going to make one for myself, I would tailor the unit to fit a specific space for maximum storage.

Tone's boyfriend, Steinar Jamtfall, exhibits the amazing capacity of each shelf (pictured right). To date her growing collection includes about 2,500 pens. The two cabinets will comfortably house and neatly display as many as 4,800. Tone can't wait for friends, relatives and college mates to visit. They are going to be blown-away. The nearly-full displays certainly express Tone's dedication to her collection. I am so glad she chose to share the idea and photos. Are you inspired?

Holland collector, Miranda Wittebol... traveled to Austria this fall. Miranda began collecting float pens when she was just 12 years old. Over the years she has fine-tuned her floaty radar. She returned from Austria with several new pen designs and some dups for trading material.

The story doesn't end there. Just this past week Miranda purchased a collection of 200 float pens. Many of the designs were duplicates, which she quickly traded off. The rest boosted her personal collection. So, what is Miranda's current count? Including her latest acquisition.... 8,600 float pens. I think Miranda could use a few of those beautiful cabinets.

I just had to show you this guy... Debbie Carriere, of Canada, spent time creating Tufa sculptures this summer. This Treeman is fashioned from Portland cement mix, perlite, an upside-down tomato cage, stucco wire and layers of chicken wire. A potted plant, supported by a hidden shelf, will set nicely inside the treeman's head. Debbie... you sure know how to have fun!

Anne Burke's floaty pen collection... won 5th Place, out of 30 entries, in the hobby collected by woman class at the Cuyahoga County Fair. For those of you living outside of Ohio, the fair was held very near Cleveland. I am sure her collection made a real impact on visitors. What I wouldn't give to hear the comments from the crowd. Kudos Anne. We will keep our fingers crossed. Next year... First Place.

Where would we be without... our floaty pen scouts? Tina DeSalvo's girlfriend made a cross country trip this summer. No, not all alone. She was accompanied by husband and children. It's a good thing too. A long the way, the girlfriend purchased a floaty for Tina. That triggered the hunt! Friend, husband and kids caught floaty fever. Half way through the trip Tina's friend even started buying pens for herself. Scouts often convert to collectors. By the time the family returned to Florida they had gathered a box full of pens for Tina. It pushed her collection over the 700 mark. Good news for all.

Pens Out and About...
Operagraphics has released Jack Keely's... latest opera design. The pen celebrates Richard Strauss' opera Salome. As you can see... when you click the image, Salome! is a naughty, but classy tip n strip. I predict this is going to be their most popular design to date. It is available exclusively in the twist n click style with a chrome clip and translucent purple barrel. (Update: May 2015; pen is NOT in stock.) Purchase it directly from Operagraphics.com.

Caterpillar, the manufacturer of heavy construction equipment... has a custom float pen available on their website. I purchased four pens @ $5.95 each and paid an additional $8.95 shipping. Pool your orders to take the sting out of those shipping charges. Order directly from Caterpillar (NOTE: Pens sold out long ago; Link removed May 2015.)

Spokane collector, Richard Wickberg... reminds me that Starbucks purchased Seattles Best Coffee, fondly called ‘SBC’. Why is that a concern to floaty collectors? When the SBC pens sell out, they will not be reproduced. I currently have two SBC designs under the Advertise category. In the first design a logo brews into a cup of coffee. In the second, a plume of steam rises from a hot cup of joe. If you do not own these pens, now would be the time. I have less than four of each design in stock. They sell for $3.75 each. If you prefer to trade, Richard has both designs as well.

The Geico Gecko pens... arrived. Katrina Burns turned me on to these Twist n Click with a clear barrel. The floater is the Geico Gecko behind the wheel of a little red sports car. Darn it! Gwen Garabedian was so right. They are NOT Eskesen pens. The cellophane wrapper is marked ‘Made in China’. Another dead giveaway... the belly band is red.

Geico Gecko pen

My first instinct was to return them, but I changed my mind. My original postage costs would not be refunded and I would still have pay again to ship to the source. I am offering them for $3 each. My scan is primitive. The pen looks a lot better than my pic.

You will find them under the New Arrivals category. Even though I am a true-blue Eskesen collector, I do own a few pens from other manufacturers. Such pens do not ‘count’ in my collection. Not all collectors are as fussy as I am about where their pens come from. So, this one will be added to the list, but clearly marked ‘CHINESE’.

Topline Products, Inc. has been a... major player in the souvenir industry since the early 60's. Topline recently moved their offices and warehouse. In preparation for the move, owner Lupita Vargas, went through their old pen samples and stock. She presented me with a treasure box full of pens that Topline created as well as sample designs from other Eskesen distributors. The more I explore the pens, the more I appreciate the gift.

Folsom Children
Worlds of Fun
Universal Studios
My Generation

Cedar Point, OH Super Lover Enron. Florida Orange

1) Cedar Point, OH Amazement Park
Still in operation. Even though it is less than an hour from us,
we haven't visited for over 30 years.
2) Sign of the times... 'Super Lover', the message 'You turn me on!'
3) A promo pen for Enron... a true collector's item
4) An orange promotes Florida's #1 crop.

Reagans Ranch

Chinatown Baja, CA

Iowa City, IA
A classic example of photo fade. I wouldn't want all of my pens to be this washed-out, but I must admit,
I treasure them just the same. Something nostalgic about the mono-tone scheme.

This was one of the first pens I added to my collection.
The entire foreground is consumed by the facade of a subway car covered with graffiti.
A policeman and athlete float up and down the aisle inside the car. We catch a fleeting glimpse,
of the images as they float past the car windows. I have always admired the detail and effect.

It was extremely difficult for me to choose just 12 designs for the gallery. I included some of my favorites and designs I thought might tickle your floaty bone. Was I right?

Pens Past, Present and Future...
Topline has decided to discontinue several designs. I ordered one last round of each in quantitities of 12 or less. The holiday pens have always been popular this time of year. So, before they go away... Adv/Beer, Adv/Wine, Events/Christmas/Santa, Events/Christmas/Train, Religion/Daniel & the Lions Den, Religion/Noah's Ark, Sport/Ohio Buckeyes (only 5) and NV/Reno/Stagecoach are temporarily available. You will find them under their appropriate category headings on the Main List.

Because is has been nearly three months... since the last Float About posted. The Singles list is loaded. These are pens that will not be restocked. You might notice a few have returned from the last issue. It's only because they were reserved, but the collector didn't follow through with the order. In this category, only one per designs is available. 11/10/04... as of 6pm ALL singles have sold out!

Pen designs in the $1 Days... category are on sale NOW through midnight Wed/Nov 17th, or while supplies last. $1 Days. When the sale ends, remaining inventory will revert back to regular prices.

As usual, all of the Float Art designs... are in short supply. Do not hesitate to get your orders in. When I have so few pens, I have plenty of disappointed collectors.

When was the last time you ventured beyond... the first three categories of the pen list? The New Arrivals, Singles and $1 Day lists always seem fresh and new, but hundreds of oldies, but goodies are under the Main List. I recently updated a lot of the old scans. I think you will be pleasantly surprised. I will continue upgrading scans with the release of each newsletter.

The kidney shaped pen display... is currently sold out. I have an order for one and plan to make more in time for the holidays. When they are finished, I will post a note in Float Along. My target date is December 10th.

Odds & Ends...
Regarding the Presidential Election... I must apologize for Ohio. We really let the country down. Like most of the world and many Americans, I was terribly disappointed by the outcome of the election. At the risk of offending some of my collectors, please excuse me while I step on to my soapbox.

In Ohio, Republicans planned to challenge Democratic voters at the polls. First the courts declared the plan unconstitutional. The Republicans appealed. At 4:30am, election day, the original decision was overturned. Republicans and Democrats would each be allowed one challenger per precinct. Bill and I had attended a training program to become certified 'challengers'. Unlike the Republicans, the Democratic challengers took an all-American approach. We were instructed not to challenge anyone at the polls. We were to observe, listen and more importantly see that every registered voter, Republican or Democrat, was permitted to cast a ballot. That's why I am a Democrat.

Throughout the campaign, it became crystal clear that a growing number of politicians and Americans do not practice or support Democracy. Also... there was a time when Ohioans could see through the media hype and base their vote on facts, not fiction. Those days are obviously gone. All I can say (and I am not alone) is “Heaven help us now”. Whew... I wasn't sure how I was going to say that, but I feel better now. Thanks for listening.

Issue #47 will post early... in the New Year. However... before that happens the pen room is going to get a good cleaning. Pens that appeared in the Float Away category, but never sold, have been in-stash ever since. It's time to expose them to a new audience. I am going to post them on eBay. I will also go through a few boxes and sell off some duplicates. If you are an eBay shopper, my seller name is floatabout... of course.

Our plans to visit California... have been canceled. My brother will have to celebrate his 50th B-Day without his big sister. I was so looking forward to the trip. Our last craft show for the season was in October. Usually the shows drag on into December. Bill is swamped with Internet orders and gearing up for the holiday rush. Looks like I am going to be around.

My Aunt Elizabeth passed away... last Saturday. I had visited both of my aunts just a few weeks before. When I said ‘goodbye” to Elizabeth I had no idea it would be the last time. I knew she wasn't feeling well, but I was sure she had more time. Bill and I will be leaving here on Friday to make our way to Lima, OH for the funeral. I will likely spend the weekend with my family. Cousins I haven't seen for over a decade will attend. I should be back in the office on Monday morning, surely no later than Tuesday.

Get your orders in. As always, they will be processed on a first come - first served basis. The first couple of days after I post Float About, things are pretty crazy. Remember, I work alone. Patience appreciated. If you stumble over a link that isn't working, please let me know.

Wishing you a stress-free holiday season...

Link Symbola star indicates an active 'clickable' link throughout this website

Back up and read Issue #45 from August 12, 2004
Go forward to read Issue #47 from Feb 13, 2005

Check Float Along for continual updates in between newsletters.

Pen List Button Order Info Button Email Button
FLOAT ABOUT... Diana Andra, 1676 Millsboro Road, Mansfield, OH 44906-3374
phone 419/529-8876 (11am - midnight EST)
Copyright © November 2004 Float About... Diana Andra