The world watches as once again... Americans prepare to choose a President. Our 2004 Presidential election promises to be a monumental event. It's April and already the mudslinging and smear campaigns are in full swing. I see a long and dirty road leading us to November.
In many ways float pens have charted political history. Numerous events, campaigns and even candidates have been captured in float pens. I am aware of at least 14 American Presidents that have been encapsulated. The pensive photo of President John F Kennedy comes to mind and the stoic image of President Abraham Lincoln. But not all Presidents were depicted with such dignity. The most popular political float pen in recent years is the pen that featured Monica Lewinsky crawling under the desk of President Bill Clinton. Yes, Americans do have a sense of humor about such things.
Float pens often choose to reflect politics in a humorous fashion. While the Presidential race is the main event, sometimes lesser campaigns demand equal attention. The transformation of The Terminator, Arnold Schwarzenegger, to California's Governator was a media circus. Political happenings of this nature beg to be captured in a float pen.
Don't overpay on eBay! The Governator pens are in stock. The pen is now available for just $4.25. Order as many as you like. The pens are in the classic Eskesen style. If you have already reserved Arnold pens, I still have them for you. I predict it will be the hottest float pen this season, maybe even this year.
Whether you are a member of the Democratic or Republican tribe... I have a pen for you.
All of the new pens mentioned in this issue can be found under the
New Arrivals list.
Smear campaigns serve to keep us distracted and muddy the real issues.
Bill and I tune out the negative ads and aim for the truth. One of our
most trusted resources for political facts is
When in doubt... check it out!
News from the Factory...
Every Christmas Eskesen creates a holiday floaty pen... especially for their fans and collectors. 2003 was no exception. The pens were made, but due to major changes at the factory, the pens were not distributed. I have great news.
Eskesen sent a quantity of pens to Miranda and I for distribution. If you live in Europe make arrangements with Miranda. If you live in the USA or Canada, I have a pen for you. There is a minimal fee for shipping and materials.
As you can see... they are sweet. The floater is the Eskesen company logo. There is a mouse at the base of the pen. Stockings and mittens are hung by the chimney with care. With a lot of luck, the other mouse will pin the second logo there. As usual, it's a special edition pen. The design will not be repeated.
So, how do you obtain one of the collectible Eskesen 2003 holiday pens? I will automatically send a pen with your next order free of charge, while supplies last. If you just want the Eskesen holiday pen, the fee is $2 to cover costs. If you reserved a pen earlier, your pen is still on-hold.
Eskesen's Open House... that had been scheduled for the spring of 2004, has been postponed until May of 2005. Will you be going? It isn't your imagination... Eskesen has added a new style of pen to their product line. The French D&M pens were the first to display the new c-top. We are going to see a lot of these in the future. The window is similar in size to the twist n click version, but it is topped with a stylish plastic clip.
The majority of collectors that I serve continue to favor the original classic style above all others. Recently I have noticed a few collectors leaning towards the naked twist n click style, with the simple black or chrome clip. To date, collectors have yet to warm up to the modified t&c's that sport slanted or rounded tops. I am curious. How do you feel about the c-top?
Anne Burke asked if... I had visited the Eskesen website recently? She was excited to report major updates and changes in place. I had to pop in and see for myself. Anne was right. In my opinion it's 100 times better than the original site. Visually it's clear. It's a breeze to navigate. It's will be a regular stop for collectors.
The site is still under renovation, but some features are open and working condition. You can read about the new owners and browse the company's product line. The newly added Collectors Corner includes an interactive design-your-own-pen program which is great fun. By May 1st Eskesen intends to introduce subscription packages to collectors. Packages will obviously include pens, but they have a few other exciting surprises to reveal. Take a peek ( www.Eskesen.com ) and plan to return frequently for updates.
Apparently spring cleaning ... is no longer reserved for the home and office. ( Ideal Motion Promotion ) has also revamped their web persona. A fresh coat of paint and splash of modern style gives the site a whole new look. Owner Micale Maddox designs and distributes float pens and other promotional items for corporate clients.
Corporate pens rarely reach the collectors market so we scarcely catch a glimpse of them. This seems an opportune time to share a few pictures of Micale's recent pen designs. The pen for clothing design company Takeo Kikuchi features the company's logo. The conceal - reveal mechanism floods the seemingly invisible frame of a man with a rich black suit. Very effective.
This one is simply too funny. See that innocent little puppy? Tip the pen and oh no! I don't think that is a comet shooting across the floor. This is a job for Propalin.
The third pen (pictured below) was originally made for Radiology Associates, but adapted to promote Micale's float pen business. A fully dressed man disappears behind the 'IMAGINE' panel to emerge as a skeleton. The caption panel, on the backside of the pen, includes this text... 'Imagine the possibilities' 'The Ideal Motion Promotion'.
Promotional Products Business magazine did a feature story on the same Micale Maddox. The magazine is a business trade publication, but the article Family Matters, by Anne Pechuls, takes a more personal approach.
Micale is the owner of Worldwide Marketing Services, better known to float pen collectors as Ideal Motion Promotion. Her husband Bary owns an electronics business. The summer of 2002 the Maddoxes responded to a request for DC area families to act as host families to Russian orphans. The Summer Miracles Program, sponsored by ( www.KidSave.org ), placed two children with Micale and Bary. They had no intentions of adopting, but after spending six weeks with siblings Elena and Alex, Bary and Micale knew they were ready and able to become parents. March 24, 2003 the adoption became official. Elena, now 13 and Alex, 11, have filled their home and hearts with love. The article tackles the subject of juggling two businesses with the schedules of two active preteens. It is truly a challenge, but these are very special people. Congratulations to the entire Maddox clan.
Coastal Living Magazine...
will publish an article about float pens in their upcoming summer
issue. The author, Charly Porter Kusta, interviewed Nancy Nerenberg, Miranda
Wittebol, myself and others. It promises to be entertaining as well as informative.
French collector, Andre' Perrin... recently participated in an annual pen collectors convention in France. What a fabulous display. You will notice all of the pens are float pens. The table is covered with floaty ephemera. It is an outstanding exhibition for which Andre' should be very proud.
Andre' is obviously serious about his collection. The pens are neatly presented, organized, categorized and cataloged. Note the variety of displays used in his booth. This is a clever man with quite an imagination. It surely gives the rest of us something to aspire to.
Mr Perrin feels his collection will not be complete without a few items. He
is currently looking for a Harley Davidson pen and another that
features New York firemen. Do you know of any such items? Andre' does not have
Internet access, but I would be happy to forward any info you have to offer.
It is very likely he would have pens to trade.
If anyone is interested in trading floaties... from Rome/Vatican City, contact Leslie Sena. Leslie will be in Rome this April/May and there are four different Eskesen pens available.
Mass Pen Storage...
simply requires the right furniture. These are two of my hardest working cabinets. The green file cabinet on the left houses thousands of pens with room to spare. File cabinets make the ideal storage unit. New pens and categories are easily shuffled from folder to folder. The hanging file folders can be transferred to file boxes for instant portability.
Cheaper file folders are best. Thinner stock is less likely to stress the pen clips. Tiny binder clips, placed at the edges of the folders, prevent the pens from slipping off.
Never over load the folders or over stuff the drawers. Pens and folders should hang freely and straight. Each inside surface of a letter-sized file folder will comfortably accommodate 24 pens. That's 48 pens per folder. Each drawer will hold 35 full file folders. Do the math. That's 1,680 pens in each drawer!
The beige cabinet holds my foreign location inventory. Armed with measurements I visited my local warehouse grocery and found cardboard trays that fit perfectly into the drawers.
Binder clips hold cardboard dividers in position.
So you don't have hundreds or thousands of pens in your collection? Then investing in a file cabinet would be premature for you. Portable file boxes are an excellent way to organize smaller collections. There are a few factors to consider when purchasing a file box.
If you prefer to have your pens at your fingertips, use an open crate or mesh unit. If you want to shelter the pens from light and dust, purchase a unit with a lid. There will be less chance of the box breaking with the weight of the pens if the carrying handle(s) is attached or molded into the body of the box (see pic). If the lid is burdened with the weight, it will likely break with use.
When shopping for your container, be sure to take samples of each pen style, especially a clicker. Clicker style pens stand higher than any other model. When a clicker pen is attached to the hanging file folder, make sure the closed lid doesn't rest on the clicker's metal button. This applies undue pressure and stress to the pen. Notice how nice and deep the file folders hang in the pictured unit. BTW... such units hold over 200 pens.
Tax season is winding down. School will soon be out for the summer. Now is a great time to find bargain buys. Binder clips are available by the dozen at office and stationery supply stores.
Pens Past & Present...
Good news... a handful of the Wisconsin Cheesehead pens are now available under New Arrivals. The Homeland Security pen is finally back in stock. It is currently listed under the Humor category. After a long absence, two old favorites have returned to the list. Find the San Francisco Foggy Day and Alcatraz Swim Team pens under California.
Remember, the pens listed in the Float Away category are SINGLES. There is only ONE pen available per design. These are pens that are not going to be restocked. Last chance! Also, the websites page has been refreshed. Defunct web addresses have been removed.
Dollar Days... to begin immediately upon release of this issue. This sale ends midnight on April 21st. This is a new feature and somewhat experimental. The point is to thin designs in overstock. All of the pens listed in the $1 Days category are just a buck while supplies last or until the sale ends on the 21st. If this works, I will announce new Dollar Days pen designs with the release of each issue.
Odds & Ends...
On the home front ...
so much has happened since issue #43. In January, Bill's knitting needles
received a positive review on the
Knitters Review Magazine ).
He was immediately swamped with orders. As planned, I had gall bladder surgery on
February 5 and carpal surgery February 25.
All is well, but it brought
our remodeling project to a complete standstill. Much to our dismay, we have
yet to get back at it. We did our first craft event in Bowling Green, Ohio the
last weekend in March. It was small, but successful. The next event is in
Wyoming, a Cincinnati suburb, in mid-May.
Since late February we have been trying to slip away for a weekend in Pittsburgh with our son Josh. Conflicting schedules have kept us apart. We are going to try again this coming weekend. Our eldest cat, Minki, turned 17 in February. She now requires ( subcutaneous fluids ) every other day to combat her kidney failure. Considering her age and condition, she is in good spirits and still enjoys life. Her treatments keep us fairly close to home, but that is a small price to pay for her well-being. I am grateful for every good day we have together.
Delivery time... will be slightly delayed for new orders. All orders that are paid for between now and Wednesday midnight, will be shipped on Thursday. There are a few pens that haven't arrived and for the first time in my life, I am going to be tested for allergies this afternoon. That will take a big block out of my afternoon work hours. As usual, I will process and pack as quickly as possible. It shouldn't take me very long to catch-up.
If it snows one more time I am going to pack my bags and head to California.
Mr Tickner, a wise elder from my childhood, always said ... 'Don't put your
longjohns away before Memorial Day'. At this rate it will be the 4th of July
before I let them go. We have a Cleveland craft event early in June, so in
theory, I should be able to post issue #45 soon after.
Until then, enjoy spring and refer to Float Along
for continual updates.
Your humble servant... Diana
a star indicates an active 'clickable' link throughout this website
FLOAT ABOUT... Diana Andra, 1676 Millsboro Road, Mansfield, OH 44906-3374
phone 419/529-8876 (11am - midnight)
Copyright © April 2004 Float About... Diana Andra