Link Love: What’s in a Name?

Link Love: What’s in a Name?

This past week there was some scuttlebutt about Noodlers Ink. I wasn’t sure how to to approach the subject because it hits so many hot buttons for so many people but since Inkophile tackled the topic, I’m grateful for the opportunity to discuss the matter.

If you’ve been a part of the pen community for some time, you’ll know that Nathan from Noodlers Ink often includes his political views in the naming and design of his inks. Overall, I’ve always been of the opinion that Nathan was trying to draw attention to social and political issues but I know some of his choices have really bothered people. I just choose not to purchase Noodlers Ink both because of the politics and because of some issues with the ink formulations (Bay State Blue, I’m looking at you.).

In light of the announcement that Noodlers was renaming and rebranding many of the ink colors, as well as an apology and charitable donations will hopefully help to improve the public opinion of Noodlers.

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Ink Review: Dominant Industry, Periwinkle Twinkle

For those of you who have been reading the blog for a bit, you know that each year I like to purchase some inks that are representative of the Pantone Color of the Year. The color for 2022 is Very Peri.

What IS periwinkle? Is it blue? Is it purple? Is it blurple? According to Pantone:

Encompassing the qualities of the blues, yet at the same time possessing a violet-red undertone, PANTONE 17-3938 Very Peri displays a spritely, joyous attitude and dynamic presence that encourages courageous creativity and imaginative expression.

It also comes from the plant of the same name, which can appear blue, pale lilac, or some combination in between.

With that in mind, I searched the web for periwinkle fountain ink. I have lots of contenders to share over the next few weeks, but the first one that came up was Dominant Industry Periwinkle. It comes in both a matte finish (Periwinkle Blue) and a pearl finish (Periwinkle Twinkle, 25mL for $20.00). How could I not choose the pearl?

Periwinkle Twinkle displays more blue than lavender, though there are some violet undertones. The pearl finish helps to add that bit of sparkle and color to it. In the swatch itself, I get a bit of sparkle that’s hard to capture on camera, but it is there. In the large ink droplets, there’s no denying that pearly sheen!

The ink shades nicely – it is on the lighter side in finer nibs, but still very readable.

In terms of comparable inks, I have a few. I was surprised to see Stipula Deep Blue was close, if not a bit lighter. Pelikan Edelstein Sapphire has a bit of a purple cast to it and Pilot Iroshizuku Ajisai is another ink that reads fairly blue/purple.

Overall, I’m not quite sure I hit the exact shade of Veri Peri, but I’m glad to have added another fun blue to the collection. I do have a few more to explore though, and a few that look a bit more purple – stay tuned!


DISCLAIMER: Some of the items included in this review were provided to us free of charge for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.

Fountain Pen Review: Nagasawa Original Pro Gear Slim (Gakuen-Toshi Fresh Green)

Fountain Pen Review: Nagasawa Original Pro Gear Slim (Gakuen-Toshi Fresh Green)

Nagasawa is a stationery shop located in Kobe, Japan. Most pen enthusiasts will know the brand from their line of Kobe inks — a proprietary line of colors made by Sailor for Nagasawa and sold as Kobe. Less well known is the collaboration that Nagasawa often does with Sailor in creating their own exclusive Sailor pens.

Cat paws provided for scale.

Other than exterior colors, the key differences between a stock Sailor pen offering and a Nagasawa branded Pro Gear is the engraving on the nib and cap band and the custom low flat ink bottle icon on the end cap. From the perspective of “is this a real Sailor pen?” the answer is unequivocally yes.

Comparing end cap detail, from left to right: Nagasawa Kobe, custom Zodiac Sailor nib from Bungubox, and Sailor Pro Gear.
Comparing nib engravings, from left to right: Sailor Pro Gear, Nagasawa Kobe and a custom Zodiac Sailor nib from Bungubox.
Comparing cap band details, from left to right: Nagasawa, custom Zodiac Sailor from Bungubox and Sailor Pro Gear.

The model I chose is the Gakuen-Toshi Fresh Green. The color is 100% me. Why I waited so long to purchase it is beyond me. I purchased the last of this particular color left on JetPens. It was originally sold at the same time as the coordinating ink along with several other ink/pen combos. While I don’t think the Gakuen Toshi pen and the ink of the same name are exactly a perfect match, I can live with that. Mostly because I love the color of the pen barrel.

While Gakuen Toshi and its fellow models are mostly sold out at this point, Nagasawa recently released its newest collection of Sailor Pro Gear Slim models, the Onomatopoeia series: Doki Doki (Pink), Puka Puka (Light Blue), and Kasha Kasha (Gray) ($299 each) which is a delightful collection and is only slightly more expensive than the pervious line (which sold for $253 on JetPens).

The Nagasawa nib is just as smooth as a Sailor-branded Pro Gear Slim. The writing experience was exactly what I’ve come to love about the Sailor 14k nibs. While I do get mushy when I get a 21k nib in hand, the 14k is still an excellent option. Since I was purchasing the absolute last Gakuen Toshi available at JetP

ens, I got the F nib which is one of my favorite Sailor nibs anyway. I really do need to branch out a bit.

If you have ever wondered, “What’s the deal with those Nagasawa/Kobe Sailor Pro Gear pens?” I hope this helped to clear it up a little and provide you with yet another channel to seek out unique and unusual Sailor models.

Zoey approves this review. And thinks the pen matches her eyes perfectly.

DISCLAIMER: The items included in this review were provided free of charge by JetPens for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.

Planner Status Update, Mid-Year Report

Planner Status Update, Mid-Year Report

I posted at the beginning of the year about my planner set-up and I am delighted to say that I’ve stuck with my set-up. So much so that I have filled my modified Bullet Journal notebook and I will be starting a new notebook next week.

So this seemed like a perfect time to talk about what is working and what needs to be improved.

Planner inside spread

I chose to create a page-a-day for notes, to-dos and other details. I often add things I ate (if I cooked something or we ordered take out, etc), what I’m reading or listening to and anything we watched — movies, series, YouTubers, etc.  I keep a monthly calendar in a separate notebook in front to keep some upcoming events like appointments, events, etc that can be transposed to the individual day. I am not as good about adding upcoming events to the paper calendar however and may move to using a digital calendar for those events and then transpose them to the day-on-a-page as I go along so I’m not rewriting info multiple times. Most of my appointments already exist in the digital form complete with reminders so I don’t miss them so it seems unnecessary to write them in the paper calendar.

It is nice to have a paper calendar however for quick reference ” what day is June22?” or “four weeks from today is when?” without having to pull out my phone and open the calendar app.

Planner inside spread

I am really loving the B6 size (approx. 5″ x 7″) though it limits the availability of ready-made notebooks. Luckily, the Paperblanks Midi Format size is very similar in size to B6 and the 120gsm paper weights are quite fountain pen friendly. The notebook I used for the first half on 2022 was one of the 100gsm Flexi cover models which is not the best for fountain pens but held up about as well as Leuchtturm1917 — so bold, italic and stubs may bleed on the 100gsm stock but not on the 120gsm which is what I’ll be switching to for the second half of the year.

Planner inside spread

Early on in the year, I made cursory efforts to use washi tape and other elements in my daily pages but by March, it was mostly all text with the occasional bit of paper or ephemera taped into the book.

I need to be more specific about the bullets, asterisks, boxes and other symbols I use in my journal. I am very random about them but would like to make i more clear to myself that a dot is ______, and a box is _____, etc. Do you have a specific system for symbols to discern between to-do, event, or info?

Planner inside spread

By writing the day at the start of everyday, I had the luxury of using multiple pages when necessary or maybe only a half page on really uneventful days or if I forgot to write anything in the later part of the day.

Overall, I feel like I have found a system that works for me and is getting me writing regularly, even if its just bullet points and random brain dumps. Its not tidy, beautiful or instagrammable but it is getting crap out of my head and onto paper.

How is your planning set-up working for you this year? Have you switched up at all or adjusted your system at all since the start of the year?

Ink Review: Montblanc Homage to Victoria and Albert

Ink Review: Montblanc Homage to Victoria and Albert

Today I’m excited to show a new ink from Montblanc – Homage to Victoria and Albert. I purchased my bottle from the online Montblanc store, but it is also available at Dromgoole’s, Pen Boutique, and other Montblanc retailers.

Homage to Victoria and Albert (referring to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert) is a minty green ink that is much darker than the box had lead me to expect.

I love the artwork on the inner box, but I was disappointed that the outer box is plain white. Most Montblanc inks have artwork related to the theme of the ink on the larger box along with a colorful inner drawer box featuring the color of the ink. I wonder if this could be a sign of Montblanc cutting costs on printing.

While some mint-colored inks lean heavily blue, Victoria and Albert is absolutely green with blue undertones.

Callifolio Teodora is close in color when swatched, however, in writing, Victoria and Albert is much brighter.

Shading is the biggest feature of Victoria and Albert with no apparent sheening or haloing.

The combination of Victoria and Albert on Cosmo Air Light doesn’t show the same extreme shading as Tomoe River paper.

My newest paper addition, Midori MD Light, is cream-colored paper (not my favorite), shows the ink as a greener shade and darker as well.

Tomoe River paper (top) and Cosmo Air Light paper (bottom) in the same photo make it easier to see the shift in blue tones.

The 50mL bottle of Montblanc Homage to Victoria and Albert sells for $40 or $0.80 per mL. Compared to the price of Sailor 50 States inks ($20-$25 per 20mL), Montblanc special edition inks are beginning to seem more reasonable. I’m always excited to add a new color to my collection and I’m very glad to see another original color from Montblanc!


DISCLAIMER: The items included in this review were purchased by myself. Please see the About page for more details.

Link Love: Grateful

Link Love: Grateful

First, I would like to say thank you to all you amazing people who purchased prints and/or made a donation to our kitten fund. I am touched beyond words at your generosity. The kittens have their first check-up tomorrow and we will have a better idea of the overall expenses for their vaccinations and spay/neuter. Right now though, they are eating us out of house and home and growing more everyday.

Clover & Carrot

Zoey, our mama cat, had some serious GI issues when she first came into the house. She went to the vet last week and was completely tested and examined. The determination was that the change in her circumstances left her inside a little discombobulated. We left with some special food and probiotics and she’s doing much better now. What a relief.

She’s still quite underweight but we are doing our best to give her all the food she wants in hopes that she puts on a pound or two.

Apple helps with mailing

The kittens go from rambunctious to sound asleep in seconds and its fun to watch them frolic and then collapse with exhaustion. The kittens are quickly developing distinct personalities — adventurer, lap cat, climbers, attackers, and more. I suppose this is how proud parents feel watching their children grow up.

Pickle Video (for some reason my little video won’t embed. But its worth a click, I promise)

Now, back to the pen world, already in progress! We have pen show recaps, Galen Leather reviews, lots on ink reviews and more this week. Enjoy!

Pen Show Recaps:

Pens:

Ink:

Pencils:

Notebooks & Paper:

Art & Creativity:

Other Interesting Things:

We need each other. Please support our sponsors, affiliates or join our Patreon. Your patronage supports this site. Without them, and without you, we could not continue to do what we do. Thank you!

Pen Review: Meister by Point Pocket Felt Tip Marker

My fountain pen ink stash overfloweth, so I’m always looking for good ways to use that ink in other pens. So I was excited when Ana handed me the Meister by Point Pocket Felt Tip Marker ($12.50, JetPens).

This reusable Pocket Felt Tip Marker comes in at a cool 4.8″/12.5cm capped, and 4.2″/10.5cm uncapped. It has a smooth metal body, and comes in a variety of colors (Black, Cream, Macchiato, Ocean Blue, Red and White) with silver colored metal hardware. The cap is a snap cap with a soft closure, and is postable. Finally,  the marker comes standard with a 0.8mm tip, but tips are also available in 1.0, 1.2 and 1.4 mm.

L to R: SchonDsgn Pocket 6, Kaweco x Hello Kitty AL Sport, Meister Felt Tip Marker, Diplomat Traveler

L to R: SchonDsgn Pocket 6, Kaweco x Hello Kitty AL Sport, Meister Felt Tip Marker, Diplomat Traveler, Marvy Le Pen Fineliner

The Pocket Felt Tip Marker is designed to work with standard international cartridges. It can use a converter, but no converter is included, and the specs say that a full sized converter won’t fit in the barrel. There’s no converter indicated, which leads me to guess maybe the Kaweco mini converter would work? But I can’t be sure.

My favorite part about this pen is that you get a fun fine liner and you can use any ink you want. The instructions recommend that you not use shimmering or pigment-based inks because they can clog the feed and be difficult to rinse out of the pen, but as far as your regular fountain pen inks go? The sky’s the limit!

The biggest drawback on this pen for me is the section. The section near the tip is very short, and the transition to the body is very pronounced – it feels like a hard metal ring against your hand. Based on just a short time writing, I don’t think it would be comfortable for longer use, unless I could train myself to hold it above the section. While I love the fact that’s its a reusable metal body, I just don’t know if it will make it into my routine that often?

What do you think?


DISCLAIMER: Some of the items included in this review were provided to us free of charge by JetPens for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.