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  1. Cynomys

    "New England Girlhood" (book discussion)

    "A New England Girlhood", by Lucy Larcom (book discussion) This thread is dedicated to a discussion of the book "A New England Girlhood" by Lucy Larcom, first published in 1889. This book is available as a free download at http://www.gutenberg.org/files/2293/2293-h/2293-h.html.. The book is...
  2. Cynomys

    B&B Book Club

    Welcome to the inaugural B&B Book Club! Those interested in joining the book club should select a book to read jointly and serially, and be prepared to participate in discussions of the book as we progress through it. Once a book is selected, the discussion leader for that book will post a...
  3. Cynomys

    Draw, partner!

    For some time, I have had these fantasies (no, not those kind) about learning to draw. Pencil, pen and ink, or brush (sumi-e), it doesn't matter. The ability to draw well seems a bit of a deep mystery to me and I really admire those who have mastered this art. Anyway, I have a set of drawing...
  4. Cynomys

    "In My Power: Letter Writing and Communications in Early America"

    Recently this book ("In My Power: Letter Writing and Communications in Early America", by Konstantin Dierks) came to my attention when I purchased another title in the same "Early American Studies Series" from the University of Pennsylvania. Given the subject and my perusal of some of the...
  5. Cynomys

    7 Letter to Write .

    From the Art of Manliness: "7 Letters to Write Before You Turn 70" http://www.artofmanliness.com/2014/06/19/7-letters-to-write-before-you-turn-70/ The opening paragraph: "At AoM we’re great champions of.the lost art of letter writing. Emails, texting, and the wide variety of other digital...
  6. Cynomys

    Oster Shavex

    I just got back from an antique store here in Bothell, WA where I saw an Oster Shavex. It looked like a miniature pair of lawn shears with these little tiny blades in two rows that went back and forth when you squeezed the handle. The box advertised that it gave as close a shave as any razor...
  7. Cynomys

    Spencerian observation (shadings)

    Having learned to write Spencerian script, here is one observation which I have. I learned the letter forms first without concern for shadings. After that, I learned the heavy shadings for the capitals and am in the process of learning them for the miniscules. What I would observe is that the...
  8. Cynomys

    How many dip pen nibs do you have?

    I have over 100, including 10+ of Nikko G, Gillott 303, Gillott 404, and Leonhardt Principal EF. Plus about half a dozen Hunt 22. Looking to try the Tachikawa G and Brause 66 EF. Not as many nibs as razor blades, but the nibs last longer.
  9. Cynomys

    Handwriting speed

    Recently, I decided to test my handwriting speed using, on the one hand, my lifelong Palmer method script and, on the other hand, my newly acquired Spencerian. The latter speed would, of course, be significantly slower since that script has only been recently acquired. I timed my Palmer method...
  10. Cynomys

    P.R. Spencer, "Spencerian Penmanship" (review)

    Platt Rogers Spencer, "Spencerian System of Practical Penmanship" (theory book and set of 5 copybooks) For those wishing to learn a classic American penmanship style, the choices would seem to be Copperplate or Spencerian (perhaps also Palmer Method depending upon how one uses the word...
  11. Cynomys

    Spencerian copybook maxims

    In the 19th century, a set of copybooks, currently available in a Mott Media reprint, were often used to teach school students Spencerian penmanship. In the copybook approach, a line of text was presented at the top of a page and the students were to copy the text (several times) on the lines...
  12. Cynomys

    Sumi ink sticks and dip pens

    I just completed an experiment with a Sumi ink stick. Using a 20 year old stick of sumi ink of unknown provenance but good quality, I measured out 1 teaspoon of water into the well of an ink stone. Then I ground the ink stick for about 10 minutes. I used a little tiny brush to apply the ink to...
  13. Cynomys

    How many different avatars have you used on B&B?

    In the 4+ years I have been on B&B, I have used just 2 avatars.
  14. Cynomys

    Anybody use a light table?

    I have an Artograph light pad (http://www.danielsmith.com/Item--i-018-010-031) which I thought might be good for penmanship practice and work. The idea is to use some fine writing paper on top of a guide sheet on the light pad. Without the pad, it is difficult to see the guide lines through the...
  15. Cynomys

    Castle Forbes

    While organizing stuff in my closet, I came across a travel bag which had a small container with some 3 year old Castle Forbes shaving cream still left over. It looked like, well, 3 year old Castle Forbes shaving cream, that is, pretty bad. Not the pure white of the brand new stuff. But it still...
  16. Cynomys

    Demise of penmanship (1867 prediction)

    While reading a book on the development and early history of the typewriter (Richard N. Current, "The Typewriter and the Men Who Made It"), I came across the following passage from 'Scientific American' magazine for July 6, 1867, as contained in an article in that magazine reporting on the...
  17. Cynomys

    Raspberry Pi (computer)

    I am looking into purchasing the Raspberry Pi motherboard and related accessories. Currently I am in the early research phase trying to determine whether or not it will meet my needs/expectations and where best to purchase. Anybody here on B&B use this - maybe even to browse B&B? Where is the...
  18. Cynomys

    Edwin Jagger

    I have some Edwin Jagger aloe vera pucks and, while it is a fine product, it takes me a lot of work to get a good lather from it. I'm not sure whether I'm getting enough product on the brush or what the trick is. I bowl lather with an Omega 49 brush. As for face lathering, I haven't tried that...
  19. Cynomys

    C.P. Zaner's "Ornamental Penmanship"

    Having made a good start on my study of Spencerian penmanship, using the 19th century exercise books of Platt Rogers Spencer as reprinted by Mott Media, I decided to look at another early treatise (from 1920) on ornamental penmanship, that of C.P. Zaner, available in PDF format from the IAMPETH...
  20. Cynomys

    Pointed pen guidesheet generator

    In learning ornamental penmanship, in particular Copperplate or Spencerian, practice on specially lined guidesheets is very useful. These guidesheets can be purchased, or there are places on the web where they are available to be printed out. Two sites that I know of offer customizable...