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  • Artline Sponsoring Up and Coming British Driver George Sutton in The Mini Challenge

    Specialist Marker Company Artline has dropped the chequered flag on the sponsorship of young racer George Sutton.

    George, 16, has been sponsored by Artline for the last three races of the Mini Challenge, as he aims for a top 10 finish in his debut season.

    George Sutton George Sutton

    George joined the Artline project in August this year and as part of the sponsorship of the Market Drayton based-racer, thousands of race fans will see the brand’s logo on his 255 BHP Mini Cooper and the young racer’s driving suit for the remainder of the season.

    The talented driver, who has been racing from the age of 10, is the youngest on the grid by more than a year and has already made a name for himself this season, finishing above 1992 Le Mans 24-hour winner & Formula 1 driver Mark Blundell during one round, and regularly finishing higher than older much more experienced drivers, some of which have been competing for over 10 years at a national level.

    George rose to fame in the Junior Saloon Car Championships, missing out on the headline prize in 2016 by only a few points and now competes in the Mini Challenge.
    He has continued to display his upward trajectory in the Mini Challenge this season, even finishing above 1992 Le Mans 24 hour winner Mark Blundell in one stage during an early part of the tournament.

    The road to motorsport stardom has certainly been bumpy in places, both financially and emotionally, but after signing the sponsorship deal with international Specialist Marker Manufacturers Artline, he can now look forward to getting back on track at Oulton Park this weekend in the MINI Challenge Series and to the final race of the season at Donington.
    The 16-year-old, who has just finished his studies at the Grove School in Market Drayton, Shropshire, is harbouring real hopes of a successful motorsport career, with a spot in the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) a realistic aim in the next two years.

    George’s natural skills behind the wheel caught the attention of Artline in 2016 and have already raised eyebrows this year as he has propelled up the rankings to 8th position overall in the MINI Challenge Series in a field of 32.

    Brands Hatch July 2017 Brands Hatch July 2017

    Since his GCSE results this summer George has wasted no time in getting a job with a motorsport role at Valley Motorsport giving him valuable workshop and pitlane experience at various tracks around Europe.

    George told me “Next year, I want to be pushing to win the championship. There’s no reason why I can’t if I keep working hard and learning. In the MINI Challenge, the cars are essentially the same with the only variables being the set-up and the driver.Each race allows me to get a better feel for the car and understand more about how it performs and the limits I can take it to. The funding from Artline is huge as it allows us to improve the reliability of the car and conduct more tests between races.”

  • Blue Or Black Ink?

    black or blueWe recently posted about teachers using red ink at school, and that put me in mind of another classic color debate: Blue or black ink?

    There are all sorts of opinions on this and, for the most part, it just comes down to preference. That said, there are some very valid reasons for choosing one or the other, particularly in certain circumstances.

    I'll get into details below, but here's what I generally recommend:

    • Black ink for filling out official records.
    • Blue for business signatures and most others.
    • Black for memos and work correspondence.
    • Blue (or red) for notes and most learning purposes.
    • Blue for credit card applications.
    • Blue (or another color) for creative purposes.


    Continue reading

  • New Ohto Products June 2015

    New Ohto Pens June 2015

    We have had a shipment in from Ohto this month with a whole host of new goodies including multi-function pens and mechanical pencils. For those of you who may not be aware of Ohto they are a very successful Japanese manufacturer who is renowned for bringing out new and innovative high quality products at very reasonable prices. If you see anything that you like in the list below we would love to hear your comments: Continue reading

  • Artline Stix – Now Available

    If the ideas suggested in this year's Get Creative Campaign are a little advanced for the youngsters in your family you may find a little inspiration to help the kids pass some time creating a masterpiece of their own with Artline Stix.


    This latest offering is a range of pens, toys & connectors designed to be able to click, stick, spin & bend when joined together with the idea of letting the imagination create an adventure. These pens & markers have a pattern of bumps & hollows which allow them to be snapped together similar to leggo or other construction blocks.

    This range offers

    Colouring Markers – With a rounded 2mm bullet nib they are available in a wide range of colours including a dazzling lime, deep magenta & zesty orange.


    Brush Markers – Suitable for children over 3 years the soft brush tip is ideal for painting as well as colouring & is capable of painting a line width between 1 & 8mm.


    Drawing Pens – Ideal for detailed drawing as the fine tip produces a 0.4mm line, there is a wide range of colours to choose from.


    The ink benefits from being washable & is also non toxic & as well as being available individually these pens can be be bought in multi colour packs.

    The Artline Stix web site has lots ideas there are

    • A whole bunch of templates of animals, monsters & sea creatures that you can download for a colouring session
    • Several ever popular printable dot to dot pictures
    • Instructions for building windmills, planes & puppets to name a few
    • An invitation to join the Artline Stix play club with a chance to receive news, promotions & exclusive giveaways

    Artline promise to to add this list so keep an eye out for new additions.

    The Get Creative Campaign is a celebration of all forms of arts, culture & creativity that is being led by the BBC. There are events being held around the country & it will run until 21st February 2016 with the aim of getting people involved, to share their talents & host debates about the merits of creativity. Once their creativity has been unleashed maybe the budding artist could show of their skills by joining in.

  • Invisible Ink Pens Hard To Find?

    So I was tooling around online and saw this headline. Naturally, it begged for some clarification, like where was this published, was it a joke, and just how invisible are these pens?

    invisible pen headline


    Fortunately, it didn't take much digging to get some answers. Turns out that this ran in the Columbus Dispatch in Columbus, Ohio about four years ago, and it wasn't a joke. Shoppers really were having a hard time finding invisible ink pens.

    See, it started out with copper theft. That's a problem in both the UK and US that involves people stealing electrical cables and other items that contain copper so they can sell them to scrap metal dealers.

    In Columbus, it seems, thieves were stealing entire air conditioners because they contained copper.

    City officials responded by recommending that residents mark the insides of their air conditioning units with invisible ink. That way, if someone tried to sell the copper inside to any reputable scrap yard, the scrappers would check for the markings and know that it was stolen property.

    uv inkThe invisible ink pens they recommended use ink that only shows when exposed to ultra-violet light. People weren't sure where to buy the pens, so the newspaper kindly suggested some options.

    Invisible ink pens aren't all that hard to find, it seems (you can find them at Amazon, too). The headline, of course, ended up being more fun than the story.

    But, at least now I know a trick for protecting against copper theft. And, I even learned to make cheap UV ink pens with some hot water and a neon highlighter.


  • Little Girls + Sharpie = No

    Had to share this for the parents among you.

    Apparently, a little girl in California named Gabriella got her hands on a Sharpie and started drawing on her face.

    Of course. Because, you know, why not?

    Her mother saw it and, this being 2015, decided to start filming while she scolds the girl.

    Continue reading

  • Pens Matter For Voting

    ballotHere's a thought: Pens and pencils just may form the very foundation of democracy. But only certain kinds.

    You see, the act of voting itself often relies on ordinary pen and paper in both the UK and the US, and the type of writing instrument used can be the difference between a ballot that's counted and one that's discarded.

    (Paper ballots dominate voting in the United Kingdom, and account for an estimated 70 percent of elections in the United States.) Continue reading

  • Red Ink In The Classroom?

    Everyone of a certain generation knows what red ink on a school paper means.

    Wrong answers.

    But kids in the future might not recognize red ink as a teacher's way of drawing attention to mistakes.

    red ink

    Continue reading

  • The Spincil – All in one pencil & spinning top

    If you've ever had writers block then a little distraction may be just the thing to get the creative juices flowing. The Spincil is a 2b graphite lead pencil made from natural beechwood with a spinning top at the end, which is a novel change from an eraser I suppose! It's been created by Ortiedesign a French design studio who say they like to embellish everyday life by using everyday materials & healthy paints. I was pleased to read that they care about the environment too so use wood from sustainable forests & don't create unnecessary packaging.


    The concept of a spinning top takes me back to the family home & conjures up memories of cold winter evenings lying in front of the fire whiling away the time with a few rounds of battling tops with the family. This game was popular in the late 60's & 70's & ours is no longer around but it seems there are still some vintage examples for sale if you too are feeling nostalgic.



    There's nothing new about the idea of amalgamating a spinning top with a pencil, a quick search of the internet will show varying levels of design. From home made paper & cardboard circles (I even found some “how to” instructions) to a Victorian antique in the form of a telescopic pencil. What is different about the Spincil is that its hand made vertically all in one piece, which apparently made it complicated to produce & means it can't be put on a production line & mass produced.


    So, if you feel like taking your pencil for a spin during your next drawing project try a Spincil, the more you sharpen the more the top rotates.

  • Penthusiasm!

    Brad at the Pen Addict reviews some hard to come by ink samples including the Sailor Bung Box 4B

    Nifty at Notebook Stories reviews the Conceptum notebook

    Heather at A Penchant for Paper gives her take on the Pilot Feed GP4

    Matthias over at Bleistift checks out the The Lyra Temagraph & Eisen 480 pencil and a sharpener/eraser combo

    Margana at Inkophile tries out the substantial Diamine range of browns

    Miriam at Jet Pens gives us a comprehensive guide to choosing a highlighter pen

    Brian from Office Supply Geek shares his favourite things about the Kaweco Sport Rollerball

    Becca over at Nattosoup has a show down on Copic Sketch vs Shinhan Twin Touch art markers

    Note Booker Esq. urges us to write that letter – no matter how long its been

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