Pen Review: Zebra Sarasa Fujiya Scented Gel Pens

zebra sarasa milky

I’ve always liked the Zebra Sarasa gel pens and because somewhere inside me there’s a 9-year-old who occasionally has to be entertained, when I saw the limited edition collection of Fujiya scented Milky 0.5mm pens, I had to try them all. Can you blame me? I mean, don’t you always sniff those Mr. Sketch scented markers too?

Each of the Zebra Sarasa Fujiya scented pens is $3 each. There were pre-packaged sets available but they are already sold out so if these are calling to your inner grade-schooler, or your actual grade-schooler, you better hit the “buy now” button now because they are all marked LAST CHANCE. But, first, best to read on… because you might want to skip a couple of them.

zebra sarasa milky

First of all, the actual barrel designs are a cacophony of Japanese candy wrapper mayhem, complete with a Milky kid medallion at the top of the clip. If this is going to make that dreary Monday morning staff meeting al that much better, than I say go for it. The Lemon Squash, while not particularly lemony scented, has a glittery translucent barrel with white polka dots that is definitely going to liven up some seriously dreary winter days. The Nectar Peach has no discernible scent at all which was a complete disappointment since peach is one of my favorite candy flavors but the ink color is a fabulous peach-tinged pink and the pen barrel is bubblegum pink.

And can we pause for a moment and thank all that’s holy for the absolutely awesome shade of green tea green in the Maccha Milky Light Green? My photo does not do it justice. It’s pretty much the perfect spring grass green. It does not really have much of a scent though. Sadly because if it actually smelled like matcha green tea I would be in heaven.

The Pop Candy Orange reminds very much of an orange Starburst candy and is a nice bright orange color too. Totally acceptable.

For some reason, a decision was made to make the black ink smell like “Country Ma’am Chocolate Chip” rather than make it a brown or brown-black. Okay fine, suit yourself. It’s a bit of a faux chocolate smell and not the cutest barrel design. If you were looking to save a few pennies, this might be one I’d pass on as the scent is a little odd and it took me awhile to recognize the floating shapes on the barrel as cookies.

And now, the ones I didn’t like…

First, the least offensive was the Strawberry Milky but it was emotionally the biggest disappointment as Strawberry Milky is one of my favorite candies. And the pen does NOT smell at all like Strawberry Milky. NOPE. It smells like fake strawberry. It’s okay but I didn’t like it. I might just swap out the ink cartridge and keep the cool barrel. Because I love the bee and Peko and the strawberries. Problem solved there. Next is the Soft Cream Milky which has the standard blue ink and smells like a flowery air freshener. Blech! This is another one I’ll have to do refill replacement on. I love the goofball graphics but it smells awful. And the last offender for me, the Milky Light Blue which smells like licorice. This is a personal distaste. I don’t like the smell of Red Ropes licorice at all. If you like the way they smell, you will love the light blue. If you don’t, you’ll be in the same boat as I am.

So, mostly these pens rock for the Milky packaging and some of the colors. If you have young kids who like the slightly artificial candy smells, they might love the strawberry, chocolate and licorice scents and even the weirdly air freshener smell of the blue one. I give three cheers for the lemon, orange and maccha (matcha) for sure.

And of course, Zebra Sarasa gel pens in general rock for the feather-resistance, lightfastness, and water-resistance. So, you know, you can’t go wrong. And you could always try the Chupa Chups ones instead.

DISCLAIMER: This item was sent to me free of charge by JetPens for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.

Fashionable Friday: Pumpkin Spice Latte Love

ff-pumpkin spice latte

I must confess I’ve never actually had a Pumpkin Spice Latte but I love the smell of cinnamon and nutmeg and the sight of a warm latte topped with a dollop of whipped cream dotted with fragrant spices on a chilly fall afternoon gets me into the autumnal spirit in a big way. So, today I’ve decided to embrace the spirit of the season and stop at my local coffeeshop and order my first ever PSL. I’ll pack my TN with my pen filled with pumpkin or apple ink. How totally appropriate!

  • Field Notes Portland Edition Notebooks – 3-Pack $9.95 (via Anderson Pens)
  • Hobonichi Techo Planner with Cover – 2017 – A6 in Pineapple Yellow $47 (via JetPens)
  • Palomino Pencils Mixed Grade Graphite Set $10 (via Fresh Stock Japan)
  • Conklin Duragraph Amber Fountain Pen € 55 (via Fontoplumo)
  • Monteverde Jewelria Fountain Pen in Candy Yellow $35 (via Pen Chalet)
  • Rhodia Webnotebook 5-1/2 X 8-1/4 with Orange Cover in Dot Grid $21.80 (via Pen Chalet)
  • Diamine Pumpkin Ink (80ml Bottle) $14.95 (via Anderson Pens)
  • Pumpkin Spice Latte fingering weight sock yarn $24 (via MacheteShoppe)
  • Monteverde Brown Sugar Ink (30ml Bottle) $8 (via Anderson Pens)

PS: This is the one day all year that I can use the default leaf spatter brush in Photoshop! Yippee!

Link Love: Late-Week Apple Mojo

A little late-week mojo from Anderson Pens' midweek mojo Apple Picking post. It seemed appropriate after my trip to Rhinebeck Sheep and Wool Festival, eating cider donuts and petting sheep. How are you enjoying the fall weather?
A little late-week mojo from Anderson Pens’ midweek mojo Apple Picking post. It seemed appropriate after my trip to Rhinebeck Sheep and Wool Festival, eating cider donuts and petting sheep. How are you enjoying the fall weather?

The highlights this week are the release of the new Baron Fig Archer pencil and the close of the NockCo Lanier Briefcase. Other big news is the Trilogy Zero Fountain Pen, the launch of the Slice Planner Kickstarter and the new Sailor ink colors and Diamine Shimmer inks are starting to make their way into the blogosphere so we’ll start seeing reviews and samplings like the ones listed below. There are also two recaps from the Insights X Stationery event for you to peruse. Enjoy and sorry for the last post this week. I’m slowly getting back on schedule post-holiday and should be back to my regular schedule by Monday.




Notebooks & Paper:

Planners & Organizers:

Art Supplies:

Other Interesting Things:

Giveaway: Denik Notebooks

Denik Love Sketchbook

Last week, I did an epic review of the Denik notebooks and I’ve been using the Denik Sketchbook for my Inktober challenge as well.

The kind folks at Denik have 10 notebooks for me to give away so you can have a chance to try them out yourselves.


THE RULES: Leave a comment below and tell me which Denik notebooks covers above is your favorite. Those are the ones you have the chance to win. One entry per person.

FINE PRINT: All entries must be submitted by 10pm CST on Monday, October 24, 2016. All entries must be submitted at, not Twitter, Tumblr or Facebook, okay? Winner will be announced on Tuesday. Winner will be selected by random number generator from entries that played by the rules (see above). Please include your email address in the comment form so that I can contact you if you win. I will not save email addresses or sell them to anyone — pinky swear. Your email address will be forwarded to Denik who will handle the shipping. The giveaway will be open to US residents only.

Thanks to Denik for sending these the notebooks and giving all my readers a chance to try them too. Be sure to check out all their notebooks and sketchbooks.

Announcing: Baron Fig Archer Pencils

Baron Fig Archer Pencils

It’s not everyday that a company unveils a new pencil. Today, Baron Fig announced its new Archer Pencil. Or should I say “rolled” out its new pencil since they are packaged in a matte charcoal paperboard tube? Inside, are snuggled a dozen hexagonal graphite painted pencils with a charcoal tipped ends.

Baron Fig Archer Pencils

Discreetly stamped in white foil is the Baron Fig bran name and a monoline arrow on the opposite side on the barrel of the pencil just below the the black dipped end. Very nicely designed and very simply branded. The paperboard tube doubles as storage for your pencils much like the tins of yore but with a modern Apple/21st-century twist.

Baron Fig Archer Pencils

Baron Fig Archer Pencils

Baron Fig Archer Pencils Writing Sample

I sharpened the pencils with a 2-step, long-point sharpener and the HB lead had no problem holding the point and keeping a nice point for the duration of my test writing. The Archer is a lighter pencil than a Blackwing since it doesn’t have the large ferrule and eraser on the end so I found it light in the hand and easy to balance. The lead is lighter and harder than the Blackwings as well but that means its a bit less smudgy too. I even did some heavy scrbbing tests after I photographed the writing sample just to verify my instincts, and the Archer really did maintain a god crisp point even after scrubbing a good chunky of graphite on the page.

I’d compare the Archer to one of my favorites, the Faber-Castell Grip 2001 HB, in terms of hardness but the wood is a bit weightier. It smells good too. Yes, I sniffed it. This is a full-service blog.

I really like these pencils but I am biased because I like pencils that are HB, a bit on the harder side without erasers and are well-designed. The price is right and the packaging and design is SPOT-ON.

The Archer is available in a tube of one dozen for $15. You can order today and pencils will start shipping on 10/20.

DISCLAIMER: This item was sent to me free of charge by Baron Fig for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.

Off The Grid: Up To My Ears In Fluff


Just wanted to let everyone know I’m taking a little vacation. I’ll be off the grid in upstate New York for the rest of the week, communing with knitters, nature and hopefully a few alpacas like my friend above at the Rhinebeck Sheep & Wool Festival. Hope you all can survive without me and don’t steal the hubcaps off the blog while I’m gone.

I’ll be back next week for a late edition of Link Love and some much-anticipated pen and ink reviews. I’ll do my best to keep up my Inktober drawings while I’m gone so check out my Instagram. I’ll try to post if I get any cell reception or if I can squeeze any bandwidth from the other enthusiastic social media mavens.

Day 2 "A is also for Alpaca"

Art Supply Posse Ep. 19: Leap Without a Net

This week on Art Supply Posse, discuss our Inktober projects, Big Magic, Learn-to-Draw books and listener feedback. We pour it all in, add ice, a dash of bitters, shake, and garnish with a lime. We serve it up in a Collins glass with snacks and a bowl of links.

You can listen to it here, on the web site, or hop on over to iTunes and click on that subscribe button and add it to your favorite podcast catcher so you never miss another episode.

And just so you know, we won’t be recording an episode next week as Heather and I are both on vacation. So this episode runs a little long… enjoy our babbling, catch up on some back episodes or use the extra time to check out Magic Lessons while you wait for our next episode.