Float About #63... © Copyright Mon/May 25, 2009
a bi-monthly newsletter dedicated to Eskesen floaty pen collectors

Float About is beyond fashionably late... but that's becoming the norm. There is a lot of ground to cover. Many pens to report out and about. 250+ pens have been added to my pen list. I won't delay another moment.

Obama floaty pens... are coming soon! They are currently on order and expected to arrive before the end of June. The pen has the same pose and general format as the earlier President Bush floaty pen. You may reserve as many Obama pens as you like now, or wait until they arrive, just $3.75 each.

Follow-Up to Issue #62...
James Lamoureaux is an excellent scout... and generous with his findings. He directed me to the Canadian Art Gallery of Ontario pens that were mentioned in Issue #62 of Float About. James didn't say they were made by Eskesen. I visited the site and the photos had me fooled. I was certain they were Eskesen twist n clicks, but they are NOT. Therefore they are NOT such a good deal. Collector Debbie Carriere, in Winnipeg, set me straight. “If you are looking for Eskesen pens, steer clear of these. The pens were poorly packaged, had bubbles and the floaters do not glide well.” Stay away.

The Submarine Force Library and Museum pen... also appeared in the last issue. The Museum offered an Eskesen classic style floaty that featured the Nautilus floating past the Museum. The pens sold for $3.85/each, plus s/h. Please note the design is no longer available. The museum has since added a note below the picture. They are now shipping an Eskesen digital pen with a cartoonish submarine afloat over a very simple backdrop instead of the Nautilus design.

Remember the Disney Fairy set... featured in Issue #62? The pens are quite lovely and Eskesen confirmed they made the pens.

It's unfortunate they will not accept membership from residents outside the USA. With Miranda's guidance I was able to acquire a set for her. She discovered a quick and easy method to accumulate 1100 points needed. Instead of buying 10-11 Disney movies for 100-125 points per movie, we bought the points on eBay! Before you join, there are some things you should know in advance. (Scan by Miranda)

(Sorry, offer no longer available. Pens are long gone. Link removed June 2015.)
1) Each registered member is limited to the purchase of ONE set.
2) After you sign-up, fill in the survey and get 100 points FREE.
3) Under Blu-ray you can watch a movie trailer for 100 points.
4) You need codes/points from 10-11 DIFFERENT movie titles.
5) Buy from eBay sellers with positive feedback.
6) Make sure you are buying UNUSED/UNEXPIRED codes/points.
7) I did buy one code that was not expired, but wouldn't work.
8) If you find an expired code, sometimes they work.
9) A maximum of 10 bad codes can be entered per day.
10) Look for sellers that send codes via email, rather than snailmail.
11) There were NO shipping charges for the pen and journal set.

We purchased Miranda's set for under $20. You can too. There are many ways to obtain codes/points. Resourceful collectors have solicited aid from friends, family and fellow collectors to gain extra points. You can get 20 points for every person you refer. An LA collector discovered you can also get points by going to the cinema to see a Disney movie. Check the Disney site to see which movies qualify. A few people are working on second and third memberships using alternate email addresses. If you encounter any more tricks along the way... please let me know. Best of luck to everyone.

Amy D, in Washington had some words of wisdom... to share. “I don't deal with eBay very much. I stumbled over the Buy it Now and Auction filters when I started shopping for Rewards points. My suggestion is to go for the Buy It Now listings. From my observation it is almost as inexpensive as bidding, but the convenience is quite valuable. You can target the Movie points you want and go on to another seller to fill in what you need, without duplication. For peace of mind I would avoid sellers that send their points via snail-mail. I bought some and waited a LONG time for them. I was afraid the Disney Store would run out of pens before I received them! I find that the average low cost for 100 points was $1.15 to $1.50 in Buy It Now. You can pay more, but if you shop smart you won't have to. Earning the initial 200 points on the Disney site is super easy, definitely do that.”

Float Pen Out and About...
Niamh Breheny, in Ireland... has been chasing floaty pen leads on-line. March 30th she reported her finds. The first pen is definitely not an Eskesen, but for those that are fans of ANYTHING that floats, this one has charm. It's a Mary Poppins floaty and can be purchased via mailorder. The store is somewhere in the UK. The pen is the third item on the page. As usual the picture of the pen isn't very descriptive, but it appears Mary Poppins with umbrella is the floater. That might be glitter at the base of the pen, but I can't be sure. If it is glitter, the figure of Mary might be stationary. If interested, you may view and order the pen here (Sorry, pens are gone; Link removed June 2015.)

Brittney Spears Floaty

Niamh's second find was a Britney Spears floaty. Miranda confirmed the Spears pen is an Eskesen design and tells me it is quite nice. The store is selling the pen for $10 each... OUCH, but that's not unusual for a celebrity pen. I borrowed the photo from their website. Order directly from (Link defunct; Removed June 2015.) Nice catch Niamh. Thanks for sharing.

While surfing the www... Craig Wilson noticed the George W Bush pens (FA#35, June, '02) are available from the Western White House in Crawford, Texas. “They now sport a site-specific barrel imprint, as well. They're asking $5.99 each, or 10 for $49.99, and accept PayPal. When you reach the site, scroll down a few pages to find the pens.” Click here: (Sorry, link defunct; Removed June 2015.)

Late in March... I spent the better part of a weekend trying to organize the pen room. While digging about, I discovered a padded envelope that came from Amy Dedman. I was surprised to find a pen inside. Then I remembered, it was an unexpected package that arrived during the holiday season. When it came I peeked inside. The minute I realized Amy had sent a floaty pen I marched it back to the pen room for acclimation. Honestly, I forgot all about it and for that I am ashamed. Perhaps with the assistance of a furry friend, the package had fallen between my work table and my eBay cart. There it remained, out of sight, out of mind, until I found it while organizing. You have to see this!

New Mexico Rock Collection Floaty

It's a new twist on the old rock collection standard. In the past, pens with floating rocks had a clear window. The location or company name was often imprinted on the bottom barrel.

This is SO much better. The bottom barrel is clean. Rather than a caption panel, there is a transparent message affixed in the foreground. Flip the pen over for a clear view of the rocks. Great idea. And I must say THANKS to Amy for the super cool floaty. I think this style is catching on. When you read Doug Yeo's travelogue, you will see a similar rock collection pen from a trading post out West.

Miranda is an... avid hunter. She submitted this find way back in mid-April. “If you are looking for a nice floaty here is a link to the Joe Nanashe pen. http://www.joenanashe.com/birthdaysuit.html. The pens are available in red, white or blue. This design is part of a body of work dealing with personal identity and crisis of the American image, it's decline and decay on the world scale.” Joe also offers this pen on eBay.

Debbie Carriere, our floaty friend in Winnipeg... discovered this Vegan A Go-Go floaty online. It is a digital Eskesen design from FloatArt, Nancy Nerenberg's design studio. Debbie added, “You have to buy one of Sarah Kramer's Vegan books to get the pen. Luckily my niece is Vegan so she got the book as a present. I got the pen. The company is out of Vancouver.” Thank you for thinking of your fellow collectors Debbie. You can read all about the promotion here www.arsenalpulp.com. Their pen photo doesn't show any detail. The photo I used came from FloatArt.com.

Mid-March, Marisa Barna enjoyed... an extended weekend trip to New York City. She returned with positive floaty news. “To my surprise, I found a bounty of new pens! I expected to find bad digital remakes, but a lot of the New York designs were new, cute and fun. I was very pleased. I couldn't believe it, but the American Museum of Natural History had 8 different designs. I've never found 8 different designs in one place before. And all were site-specific to the museum. They had a gift shop on every one of their 5 floors. I was in my glory, that's for sure! There were lots of smashed pennies too. So the trip was a big success.” Great job Marisa. That may have been her first trip to NYC, but I bet it won't be the last.

Wisconsin collector, Debbie Hoesly... turned me on to the Chattanooga Choo Choo pen. I've had the pen in my collection for years. I was not aware it is still in production. Their floaty is now available in the digital format. I ordered 30 pens about the same time I posted Issue #62. They are currently posted on my New Arrivals page. The pen is also available from the source. This is the main number at the Choo Choo. 1/800-872-2529. Ask for the gift shop.

Chattanooga Choo Choo Floaty

If you are looking for a weekend destination, or a long retreat, Debbie highly recommends Chattanooga, TN. “Chattanooga is a very nice city, much smaller than I expected. The Chattanooga Choo Choo was the highlight of our trip. They turned the train station into a gorgeous hotel, the gardens are lovely and the train is awesome.

There are several nice shops along the way. A fantastic place for Glen Miller fans!” 2009 marks the 100 year anniversary for the Choo Choo. They have created special packages for your stay, events, contests and parties. All aboard! Come and join the celebration! Everything you need to know is here www.choochoo.com.

Debbie's son, Jonathan, did not get to accompany his girlfriend to Puerto Vallarta. When his girlfriend returned from her vacation to Mexico, she presented Debbie with three Disney floaty pens. “While shopping for snacks, she spotted a large selection of floaty pens at WALMART in Puerto Vallarta!! They are Eskesen, in the naked twist and click style. I can't tell if they are digital or photoramic. They were in cellophane bags with folded over and stapled painted cardboard imprinted with souvenir. They also had gold plastic stick-on Puerto Vallarta script letters on the barrel. It looks like they will peel off very easily. She said they had a very large selection of pens, all Disney. I offered to pay her, she refused. I did not ask how much they cost. I was very excited! I guess you just never know where you will find a floaty pen.”

So true. Leave no stone unturned. Years back Bill and I had a similar experience just outside of Chicago at a WalMart. We stopped so I could replace my lost sunglasses. There was a display of souvenirs right at the front door. There were at least six different designs. Another overlooked source is drug stores. They often have a small souvenir section.

Floaty pens may seem difficult... to find on-the-street, but there are hundreds of pens available for trade, sometimes for sale, on trader's lists. Refer to the Collectors United page on my website for a list of traders. Carol Santos posted her updated trade list early in March. Many designs remain. www.flickr.com. Contact Carol directly at carolmarolcs@gmail.com to arrange a trade or purchase!

Doug Yeo's sabbatical travels continue... this time on vacation with his wife, Pat, to the desert southwest - Arizona and Utah. He checked-in on March 19th. “Phoenix came up dry. While at the Grand Canyon South rim we must have stopped in five or six gift shops, all void of floaty pens. At the Grand Canyon east entrance at Desert View, one of the shops had two floaty designs. Both were digitals. One Arizona, Running in the Sun with a Roadrunner floater. The second, a Grand Canyon design with three people riding mules. So, if any of your readers are in the Grand Canyon and absolutely must have a floaty pen, they should get to the Desert View Overlook on the far eastern end of the National Park. The pens were $2.99 each. It was nice to see floaty pens at a high impact site that were not priced out of sight! ”

Doug Yeo with trombone

“And while at the Grand Canyon, I took out my trombone and blew a few notes into the big hole in the ground - something I had always wanted to do! Next stop, the Zion National Park. ”

As a grand finale to their Western journey... Doug and Pat visited Zion National Park. It's a favorite destination, so they are quite familiar with the park. They entered the park at Springdale, at the west entrance. Didn't find one floaty pen at the dozen or more souvenir shops in or around Springdale.

“We left the park through the east gate, through the small town of Mount Carmel (mailing address is Orderville, Utah). We remembered a trading post at the Junction of US 89 and Utah 9 and I recalled that many years ago they had floaty pens. And the White Mountain Trading Post did not disappoint!”

“The shop is just a riot, a tremendous mixture of kitsch and items of real quality (they had some stunning turquoise and silver jewelry that went for over $600). The pens were pricey at $4.50 each, but if you get gas at the adjacent pump, you get 10% off anything you buy in the shop.”

“I purchased the LAST photoramic twist & click. It features a Zion National Park shuttle bus going past some of the park's wonderful scenery. The same image is available in a digital C-top. The real find was a miniature rock collection floating over the name of the trading post. It is available exclusively from this source!”

“It is out of the way, and not a place that every traveler will visit. Intrepid floaty pen collectors that simply must have a Zion pen and perhaps a one of a kind design will make the trip, and see Zion National Park as a bonus.” Doug was under the impression that if you contact the shop via email, they would be willing to ship their pens. In the meantime, Doug has included coverage and fantastic photos of their journey on his website. www.yeodoug.com/sabbatical. Enjoy!

April 28th Doug reports... “Nothing found in Louisville, Toronto or Atlanta airports and environs, although I couldn't do an exhaustive search. My remaining trips are to England (London, Oxford, and the far southwest, at Cape Cornwall), followed by a road trip to South Carolina with various stops on the way. Then, hopefully, Pat and I will enjoy two weeks of hiking in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. Stay tuned. ” I will continue to post updates in Float Along.

Media Sightings...
The TV program that featured... Miranda Wittebol can now be viewed online. Of course the program is in Dutch, but no matter, you will get the idea. Miranda did a fabulous job. Her segment is in the last minute of the program. If you do not have time to watch the entire show, drag the button closer to the end of the line.(Link is defunct; Removed June 2015.) Her introduction to floaty pens will surely inspire new collectors. Kudos to Miranda.

This actually came to me... on March 25th, from Craig Wilson. While surfing Google, Craig uncovered a video short entitled Learn About Floaty Pens. “It's a little over a minute and a half long, and a decent intro to float pens. Any idea who made it? ” I haven't a clue, but I promised to ask around. Did you submit the movie short? Do you know who did?

Craig also found a short floaty article online titled, How to Start an Awesome Floaty Pen Collection, by tlperl. (I've since removed the link. The page is no longer posted.) Craig was certain the article was created by a California collector. He thought I might know the source. I did not, but I wanted to. FloatAbout.com got a strong mention. A few days later Toni Perling contacted me. She is the California mystery writer/collector responsible for the article. Toni's article explains how as well as why float pens are such a great collectible. The article is bound to spark interest in float pens. Great work Toni!

Collector Kim Dougherty... provided this TV sighting. “The week of May 4th I saw an episode of The Bernie Mac Show called The Main Event. I missed most of the episode, so I am not sure how much they showed the pen. The ending made it seem like the pen may have gotten a lot of screen time. It was a tip & strip where the model has a disappearing swimsuit.” I will watch for the re-run. I know others will too. Thank you Kim.

A media sighting... in-the-making. Do you know any obsessed floaty pen collectors in the Minneapolis/St Paul area? If you fit the profile, contact me now (DiAndra@FloatAbout.com). I may have an opportunity for you! Linda McCormick tells me a local media outlet is looking for obsessed collectors to interview. Do you qualify?

Have you visited the Eskesen's... website lately? It has been totally revamped. I found it to be well organized, easy to maneuver, very informative and the products well represented. I was pleased to see the configurator is still in place. Playing with the many combinations of floaty pen designs is always fun.

The floaty pen forum disappeared from E's site about two years ago. That I could understand 100%. I was a little discouraged to see the Collectors Corner has vanished in the latest revision. I was told the page didn't generate many hits so it was removed. Personally I visit the site about once a year to see if there are new styles or colors. I am guessing that is true for other collectors too. Visit www.Eskesen.com to see the changes.

We were all blown away... by German collector, Biggy Kuhn's cabinets introduced in issue #62. While Biggy was unveiling her amazing displays, Tone Helen Hanken, in Norway, was preparing to move-in to her new pen room. Check this out!

“The room is 8 feet square, so it will take some time before it is full. The six wooden cabinets will hold a total of 15,000 floaty pens. I currently have about 11,500. There is plenty of room outside of the cabinets for more display and storage.”

Tone will display her special sets, like the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, atop the cabinets and around the room. She intends to add more shelving and smaller cabinets on the walls. These items have yet to be built.

Her boyfriend created the hanging unit (right) to show-off her floaty keyrings. Two vertical pieces of wood molding are fastened to the wall. Chain is suspended between cup hooks. The chain is threaded through the keyring. Simple, attractive and yet very effective.

Tone isn't finished, but it's spring and her attention has turned to yard and garden. Filling the room will wait until winter rolls around again. Can you imagine walking into that room? Now can you imagine someone that does NOT collect being invited into Tone's pen room? That would be entertaining.

Collectors News...
The weekend of May 9th... the Dutch collectors held their annual pen/pencil collectors meeting in Barneveld, Holland. I don't have any details, but I know Danish collector, Finn Sørensen and native, Miranda Wittebol were both in attendance. Finn provided this photo. I marked Miranda and Finn with red arrows.

Finn & Miranda at BarneveldFinn was in Holland for the entire conference. He visited Miranda at home in her pen room. I think it's fair to say they had a great time.

Our April 9-20th vacation included... a whirlwind tour of Vancouver (BC), Seattle and San Francisco. The few pen designs we found in Vancouver were 'Made in China'. We toured the shops and studios on Granville Island, finished the sunny day in Chinatown. The ferry ride to/from Victoria was spectacular, but our stay was too short for a floaty hunt. Easter it was pouring rain so we ducked inside to the Vancouver Aquarium. No pens. Late afternoon the rain vanished. We spent our last evening walking along the waterfront at sunset. What a beautiful city.

We left Vancouver the morning of April 13th... and headed straight for Topline Products, Inc., in Seattle. Thanks to Bill's GPS, we found their new location without missing a single turn. Topline is a major player in the souvenir industry. They design and distribute a full line of souvenirs, including float pens.

Annette & Lucy @ Topline

Annette and Lucy are the friendly voices that greet me when I call Topline to place an order. It was a pleasure to finally meet them. That's Annette on the left, Lucy on the right. Lupita, Annette and Lucy are three women I can always count on. They do what it takes to keep Float About afloat.

Lupita is the boss, a savvy business woman, and quite beautiful... inside and out. She is very generous and patient with me. With Lupita's permission, I asked Bill to take a few snap shots. Unfortunately, several photos were terribly blurred. Lupita's among them. While Bill was touring the facility and taking pictures, Josh and I poured over sample pens that had been set aside for me.

We had a total of 2 hours and 15 minutes to take care of business. The clock was ticking. It was time to hit the stacks. Josh kept a count and running list of designs as I picked through box after box of floaty pens. I felt like a kid in a candy store with a pocket full of coins and only minutes to make my choices.

The photo was taken in the store room. Two long rows of shelving face each other. The backside of one row is also loaded with Eskesen boxes. At that point, my head was spinning, but we managed to get through all of the designs.

I did find a few digital designs that were unfamiliar, all available under new arrivals. Knowing how the majority of collectors feel about digital designs, I didn't go overboard. It was an exciting day, but it was time for staff to go home and we needed to check-in to the University Inn.

Tuesday Josh explored solo, while Bill and I ventured South to Shipwreck Beads in Lacey. Since my 2002 visit to Seattle, they moved into a giant warehouse. I usually have to resort to mailorder, so a visit to Shipwreck is a thrill for me. My stay was limited to three hours max. Luck was on my side. They had a bead cord I rely on that has been discontinued by the manufacturer. I bought every spool. I wish I had known the new location was fairly close to collector, Karen Swanson, in Olympia. I would have made time for lunch, or at least a cup of coffee with her.

We arranged to meet with La Nea Conner and her husband, Rusty at the Columbia City Ale House when they got off work. They suggested the restaurant and it was perfect. Our food was delicious. It was wonderful to see the Conners again. They looked great and seemed happy with life. La Nea has a large float pen collection, but she is also involved in a doll collectors club. She is crazy for CPK, Cabbage Patch Kids. For Rusty, it's motorcycles that rev his engine, Yamahas to be precise. And as an engineer he is very precise. We always have plenty to talk about. Too soon, it was time for us to say our goodbyes and hook-up with Josh to do laundry.

Wednesday we did the tourist thing and pounded the pavement up/down Alaskan Way. There were many old standard designs, now in digital, available in shops along the way. The gift shop at the Seattle Aquarium was a disappointment. All they had was an ugly Chinese glitter pen. We found a site specific float pen at Pirates Plunder and two at Ye Olde Curiosity Shop (pictured below). All three designs have been around for awhile. We stopped for coffee at my favorite SBC in Post Alley before making our way to Pike Place Market. Many of the pen designs we found on the street were also at Pike Place. Prices ranged from $2.99-$3.99/pen.

Both stores have websites: www.Pirates Plunder.com and www.YeOldeCuriosityShop.com

By 5pm, Josh was exhausted. He woke up with a sore throat and runny nose. We picked up some meds to relieve his symptoms and he retreated to the hotel. Bill and I had scheduled a meet with floaty collectors Sarah Watson, Amy Dedman and her husband Chris for dinner at Tom Douglas's Palace Kitchen.

Sarah had been under the weather for several days. Unfortunately she did not recover in time to join us. Amy, Chris, Bill and I had a fantastic experience. The casual tavern atmosphere was fun and the food amazing. Amy and Chris were absolutely delightful company.

The Dedman's were among the lucky folks that attended Eskesen's final Open House. Pictured left to right: Susan Eisen, Amy Dedman, Miranda Wittebol and Chris Dedman at Eskesen in 2005. The thrill of their trip to Denmark still lingers. When they related the story, I saw a sparkle in their eyes.

In between bites, we had personal and floaty information to exchange and stories to tell. I would do it again in a heartbeat. While Amy and Chris were gearing-up for a May trip to Banff, in Canada, our vacation was more than half over. It was time to bid farewell to the Dedmans and say sayonara to Seattle. Sigh.

Our flight arrived in San Francisco... just after 5pm on April 16th. Before we left the airport we purchased a 7 day passport good for unlimited cable car, bus, trolley, and street car rides. It didn't include the Bart, but it was a bargain at $24. These days, a one-way trip on the cable car is $5. Next stop, our hotel, the Royal Pacific. We threw our bags in the room and hitched a cable car to North Beach. Popped in/out of a few souvenir shops. I was encouraged to find digital Eskesen floaty pens plentiful.

It was after 8pm when we reached Ghirardelli. Big changes there. Only a few shops survived the transformation from retail to private residences. One of a Kind, our favorite, was still there, but closed for the day. Of course the original Ghirardelli Chocolate Shop remains the anchor attraction. They added a small Ghirardelli Sandwich Shop at the opposite end of the plaza. The gift shop next door had some of the same floaty designs we found at North Beach and later at Pier 39. Picture right: Bill, Diana and Josh. That's the only picture you will see that includes me.

Every morning we walked to Victoria's Bakery in Little Italy for coffee and pastries. Friday morning, after dining on sweets, we split-up to tour Chinatown. The shops I explored didn't have any float pens, but I didn't do an extensive search. I am sure pens are there... somewhere. Afterwards we caught a cable car to Market Street. I had to see if the Sanrio store had floaty pens. Of course not! We had a quick dinner and rushed back to Ghirardelli so we could visit Bruce at One of a Kind. Bruce and Bill were both woodworkers in Berkeley way back in 1970. Bruce is responsible for getting Bill interested in woodturning. Bill's work is sold at Bruce's shop. It was a happy reunion.

Saturday the Bart took us under the Bay to Berkeley. It was a gorgeous day and a nice trip down memory lane. Berkeley has never been a good source for floaty pens. After striking out at three shops, I gave up. On our way back to SF we got off at the Oakland Convention Center Bart station. Earlier we noticed a flier for the Northern CA Bead Society Expo. They were still open for biz. It was an unexpected opportunity and a pleasure for all.

Sunday the trolley carried us off to the San Francisco Zoo. Again, beautiful weather, but there wasn't an Eskesen, Italian or Chinese floaty pen anywhere on the grounds. The last time we toured the Zoo there were different designs scattered throughout the park. Those days seem to be gone. I didn't allow my disappointment to tarnish our extraordinary day. Lions and tigers and bears... oh my!

A trip to the Zoo isn't complete without a 2-block trek to Ocean Beach immediately afterwards. Josh and I kicked off our shoes, rolled up our jeans and waded into the chilly water. We couldn't convince Bill to do the same. It was ok. Bill became the designated photographer. As the sun began to set, we dragged ourselves back to the trolley. Our thoughts had jumped ahead to tomorrow. This was our last evening in San Francisco and the end of a fantastic vacation.

Amy and Chris Dedman provided photos... and a brief update on Thurs/May 21st. “We are in the midst of our British Columbia & Alberta vacation and having a great time! This time of year there is more snow on the Rockies than we are used to seeing, so it is more beautiful than ever.”

“Floaty pen findings have been sparse. At several of the places we used to find floaties I have been informed that those pens are no longer made. I am always the last to know...I hope someone has informed Eskesen that they no longer produce floaty pens!” Don't worry Amy. The folks at E read Float About. They will get the bad news soon enough.

The bear carving, towering over Chris, is one of many featured at the Manning Lodge in Manning Provincial Park. They were so impressed with the carvings they sent several photos, knowing Bill would appreciate them too. He did. I am uncertain where the Dedman's are right now, but they got off to a great start. I hope Amy is able to find some pens for her collection before they have to come home.


Eldor Gilje, in Norway... was busy helping his son build a home when issue #62 posted. May 7th was the first night the family stayed in the new house. Eldor tells me there is still a lot of finishing work to do inside, but in the meantime, the family can comfortably live there. (Photo left - right: Eldor's wife Alvhild, his oldest son Torben, granddaughter Leah and Torben's wife, Kristin) A lovely clan.

In just a few weeks... Danish collector, Finn Sørensen will attend the Pen and Pencil Collectors annual meeting in Mankato, MN. I assume the event takes place the weekend of June 19-21. Finn will be spending three weeks in the USA. If you live near Mankato, I think you would enjoy this event. The emphasis is pencil collecting, but there are a few floaty peeps there. Say 'hello' to Finn.

Craig and Terri Wilson will travel... North to Alaska. “When we started planning a trip to Alaska in 2005, we quickly realized we were going to have to make a second trip to do all we wanted to do. So this will be that second trip. It's also in-the-works because Alaska's statehood is 50 this year, and so is Terri. It was either Alaska or Hawaii, which is also turning 50. Terri wants to see Glacier Bay and the Chilkoot Trail. We'll skip several smaller sights the cruise ships frequent, like Ketchikan, Wrangell and Sitka. A third visit may be in order someday.”

Happy B-Day to Terri. Fingers crossed the Wilson's find floaty pens on this trip. I was curious where Tanner would spend his vacation? He's the Sussex Spaniel mix they adopted from the shelter late last summer. Lucky pooch is going to the hills to hang out with relatives and canines.

Pens Past, Present and Future...
If you read Float Along... you are way ahead of the pack. May 18th I announced the schedule and handling of duplicates for Issue #63. I could have rushed and posted the list and newsletter the night of the 21st. That would have been just in time for my fellow American collectors to take-off for the long holiday weekend on the Friday. I had to reconsider scheduling. I decided to wait.

The pen list posted at 9pm (EST) on Mon/May 25th. Everyone has until 9pm (EST) on Wed/May 27th, to submit their orders. I will confirm receipt of your wish list ASAP. Ask for as many pens as you like. I will honor any limits you might impose, like 10 pens only or not to exceed $25. It doesn't matter if you are the first or last to get your order in. Soon after 9pm, on Wednesday, I am going to randomly shuffle the orders. If you highlight or number your Top 5 choices, I will do my best to deliver.

When I first posted, the duplicates were mixed into the Main list. Everyone was confused, including ME. WHAT A MESS! I have since separated them. I will NEVER make that mistake again. You can see all the Duplicates in their very own category. Outside of the New Arrivals and Duplicates category you may notice some pens are marked with a pink 'BACK'. It just means this pen has not been on the list for awhile and it is likely a single.

On the Homefront...
We have been incredibly busy... since our trip out West. One of our oak tree was struck by lightning several years ago. It was becoming a threat so it had to come down. Bill is an extreme DIY kinda guy. Those little pink spots are Bill, up-a-tree. He did all the climbing and cutting. I remained on the ground with a cell phone in one hand and a camera in the other. My duties include feeding tools to Bill, keeping his ropes untangled and clear. OH... also watching and waiting for him to fall out of the tree.

Bill dropped the tree, without incident. The fallen trunk measured twelve and a half feet long. Another five feet of trunk remained standing for a few days. He cut the trunk in half and moved the pieces all by himself. I would stop coverage now, but I know some of the guys out there will get a kick out of the cart Bill made to haul wood. He mounted a boat winch to a triangular frame so he can suspend the log and swing it on to the cart. Once the log is loaded, away they go! To unload, the log is suspended again and eased off the back of the cart.

The last log is the remainder of the trunk. Bill will turn some of the wood into bowls, weedpots, maybe even a few large crochet hooks. Come winter, the rest will keep us warm. Our neighbors think Bill is crazy. Come to think of it, they might be right.

Yes, I did finish the mosaic... that I mentioned in the last Float About. I started putting it together late October of 2008. It was an excuse to use the clay tiles (left) that I made in clay class. All winter the tile board was resting on a table in our living room. It reminded me of the jigsaw puzzles my Aunt Louise always had set-up in her dining room. It was impossible to walk past her puzzles without stopping to place a few strategic pieces. It was the same with the mosaic. My coffee mosaic is sealed, framed and mounted on the wall at the bottom of our basement steps. Project complete.

Waiting until the 25th... to post Issue #63 was luxurious. Bill's sister and her husband were in town from South Carolina. We had a traditional Memorial Day family get-together this afternoon. The weather was terrific. How about you? Did you do something special? Travel? Hunt for floaty pens? I figure a lot of people stayed home to tackle home improvement and yard work. Am I right? I am anxious to hear about your summer travels, projects and activities. Please stay in touch.

You have patiently waded through the newsletter, it's time to browse the pen list. I think most collectors are in favor of the random order method, either way, your comments are always welcome. Unlike first come - first served, this method assures everyone gets some pens.

Wishing you a fabulous floaty summer. It's hunting season!


That's all for now, but check Float Along frequently for news!
Back up and read the Issue #62 from Fri/February 13, 2009
Go forward to Issue #64 which posted Mon/Oct 12, 2009
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FLOAT ABOUT... Diana Andra, 1676 Millsboro Road, Mansfield, OH 44906-3374
phone 419/529-8876 (11 am - midnight EST)
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