Thursday, June 2, 2011

It's a Red Feather Day . . .

. . . but it ain't over yet. I mean the quill thing. I'm going to see it through to the end. So, as I was saying, JC will be home tomorrow night. He'll drive me to get sand for the buzzard's feather while he's here. I'm saving the story of "My First Quill Pen" for a later date. Today I want to share with you a thing of singular beauty.

I am crazy for birds. I have never seen one with large red feathers though. Close inspection leads me to believe this red comes from dye, but that suspicion doesn't put me off in the least. How it writes is what matters. So . . . I am going to write a note with this little gem I've been saving. If all goes well I'll write a letter, too.

This is where I need to ask: Who among you has written with a quill pen? Does the nib wick enough ink for a sentence, or will I have to dip often? Will I have to drag the nib across the lip of the ink bottle first, or can I go directly to my paper? Will the ink leave the nib stained? I am so nervous! I'm excited, too!

A lot of mail will go out Saturday morning. JC will be my mail poster. I've decided to stop whining about being in pain, having to obey restrictions . . . Being down for the count has its perks. I get to write letters in the block of time that exists just before the relief from the pain pills peak, and when it begins to wane. It truly has been a red feather day.

Be well!

This Limner


  1. My dear Limner , have you never seen a scarlet macaw ? they have big red feathers indeed . I used to have one as a pet and gave her to my dear cousin who wanted that bird so bad . i just thought you should know .

    I decided, very early on, just to accept life unconditionally; I never expected it to do anything special for me, yet I seemed to accomplish far more than I had ever hoped. Most of the time it just happened to me without my ever seeking it."
    — Audrey Hepburn

    I should think that this quote fits you quite well in my mind .

  2. Well blow me over with a feather phonelady! I don't think I've ever seen one. I've seen a giant parrot with colorful plumage though. It lives in a giant cage in the middle of our vet's reception area. I used to wish hard for one to land at my feet one day. It never happened.

    Does the red in my pen look like it's natural? I wish you could see it first hand. It's absolutely beautiful.

    I like that Hepburn quote. I promise you I tell people I let the first part of my life just happen, but I intend to have a plan from here on out--the way my daughter has a five year plan. :) How am I doing so far? Ha! That quote says it.

    You're beginning to spook me. LOL! Are you sure we don't know each other?

    Thanks for the comment and the quote.

  3. Here's TMI on your technical questions: How much you can write or how often you have to dip depends on the design of the nib, the viscosity of the ink, and the absorbency of the paper. I'm guessing about 5-6 words betweens dips. If you don't touch the nib to the lip of the bottle you may end up with a big blob of ink on the page. I would recommend you give it a little wipe on the bottle first. You will just have to experiment to see what works best for you.

    No ink should stain a metallic nib. Rinse it with cold water soon after you are finished writing. It should last for years. The ink will, however, stain anything that is a natural cellulose material: wood, feather, fingers. That's what it is designed to do.

    Using a dip pen is fun. It takes you back to letter writing of another century. It makes you slow down and consider your words carefully. Not a bad thing at all.

    (Still can't post comments using my Blogger ID. Phooey.)

  4. Dear Spec, I am going to print your comments for reference. I've already bookmarked your great blog. Didn't see an address. Really want to thank you.

    How do you know all this? :D

    Are you familiar with letter crossing? I learned about it from Mrs. Duffy's blog. I tell you, a day doesn't go by that I don't learn something new. A thousand and one thanks from this limner.

    P.S. Cool blog!

  5. I know all this from inky-fingered experience. I have a set of Brause dip nibs and an old-timey inkwell.

    I have a photo of my Stenofeder dip nib and the (then empty) inkwell here:
    New Old Inkwell

  6. I am beyond impressed! :D Nice inkwell.