Ink Review: Papier Plume Bayou Nightfall

Ink Review: Papier Plume Bayou Nightfall

Papier Plume Bayou Nightfall ($8 per bottle) is another fountain pen ink from the New Orleans Collection inspired by the surroundings of the shop where the inks are made. Papier Plume is the only pen shop I know of in the US that makes its own inks which makes it an extraordinarily special shop.

The inks come in glass bottles topped with a fleur de lis wax seal and a handmade label.

It’s a marshy blue color that’s hard to describe. It’s not a blue black or a blue grey. Bayou Nightfall is a smoky blue grey color with a slight tinge of green. It definitely reminds me of a foggy boggy night.

There are a few other inks that are similar… but different. That always seems to be the case. Franklin Christoph Midnight Emerald is close, being another Southern brand, they get the Atlantic side version maybe? Midnight Emerald is a bit more bluish. Meisterstück Blue Hour and De Atramentis Plum are more bluish as well. Diamine Twilight is darker overall and Gris de Payne is more grey than green.

So, Bayou Nightfall definitely taps uncharted waters (pun intended). I think its a bit drier ink than some others which may appeal to some folks more than others. As a lefty, I tend to prefer a slightly drier ink. If you use a lot of Kaweco pens though, they tend to hard start so you may want to keep some scratch paper handy, a dry ink and a hard starting pen  might lead to some moments of frustration. The ink shades but doesn’t have any noticeable sheen and is incredibly, reasonably priced so it might totally be worth trying.

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

Giveaway Winners: NockCo Seed A6 Cases

Giveaway Winners: NockCo Seed A6 Cases

Thanks to my handy, dandy random number generator I have two lucky winners in the NockCo A6 Seed Case giveaway:

Congrats to Mike and Cara! They both picked the steel color case though so many of you chose the iris.

I am pretty sure an A5 is on the horizon so Mike’s dream will be a reality but I don’t think it will be in waxed canvas… yet. But you never know.

And our pal Alexander Kramer has kindly tabulated some of the comment results:

News: All the Things

New Podcast:

There is a new pen community podcast called The BYOB Pen Club. Its a round table discussion of Pen Addict Slack regulars. If you are looking to have a virtual drink at the bar with some pen friends, this is the podcast for you. This is the closest approximation to pulling up a chair at any of the after hours events at a pen show I’ve experienced in a podcast. At least that’s how Episode O plays. Here’s hoping that future episodes keep the same casual camaraderie.

New App:

Austin Tooley developed an iphone pen/stationery blog aggregator called Nibbler. What a fine way to entertain yourself while waiting for the bus! There is a $1.99 in-app purchase option to “re-skin” the app or as a way to thank Austin for his efforts. Help support the pen community and the on-going efforts they make to keep it awesome.

New Field Notes Edition:

The Resolution Edition is the 10th anniversary edition of Field Notes. Spoiler Alert! The Resolution Edition includes a red, white and blue cover. The white cover is the Date Book and the red and blue are Checklist notebooks. There is also a 2018 calendar card that fits inside the books. The subscribers’ bonus is a reprint of the original Draplin Field Notes pack. The Checklist notebooks remind me a lot of the Word. Notebooks not that anyone invented the idea of a checklist or bullet list but its all coming full circle.

New Pen Releases:

Sailor Pro Gear Slim Purple Cosmos ($250) is a limited edition of only 800 available. It is a deep purple with metallic flecks with a 14k nib and sliver hardware. The pen is due to ship any day now. You can ask to be notified if there are any available at Anderson Pens but the remainder left may be slim. I ordered mine back in July.

The Parker Jotter Architecture Series takes its inspiration from London architecture. Each pen is etched with elements inspired from a particular  time period: classical (red), modern (blue), postmodern (black)  and gothic (bronze). Each pen comes in a gift box, making it giftable for both seasoned collectors or new collectors. MSRP $25/£19.

The Visconti Opera Master Fountain Pen Luna ($795) will be available in a limited edition “Goulet blue” resin with silver sparkles. This Goulet exclusive is limited to only 188 units and can include the magnetized MyPen System options – natural stones can replace the Visconti logo in the finial. The pen features the Visconti’s double reservoir power filler and a 23kt palladium nib in medium. It comes in a leather pen box with a glass ink bottle filled with Visconti Blue ink.

Retro 51 has two new Tornados available. They are yoga themes, one is the bamboo Hamsa ($45) and the other is the brightly colored, glow-in-the-dark Chakra ($45). The Retro 51 seasonal Popper was also released. It’s called “Winter Wonderland” ($37).  I really like the yoga releases and I think the illustrations on the holiday Popper are excellent this year.

Platinum is releasing the newest in their Nice 3776 line the 3776 Century Nice Fountain Pen in Lavande ($228). First, there was the Lilas in pink and now the more purply Lavande. If you like the more demonstrator style pens but still want a colorful barrel, this might be an option.

The new TWSBI Eco T fountain pen in blue (€ 35,00/€ 28,93 Outside EU) will be available soon. The Eco is a favorite piston-filling, entry level fountain pen. It’s reasonably priced and one of the only available with a piston-filling system instead of cartridge/converter. TWSBI continues to release new colors for their Ecos and ALs on an on-going basis.

Tag Team Review: Moo Softcover Journal

Tag Team Review: Moo Softcover Journal

Review by Ana Reinert and Laura Cameron:

Since both Laura and I have acquired several of the same products, we have decided to do some “tag team” reviews where we provide two points of view. Since our experience levels differ and our tastes differ, sometimes our opinions will be similar and sometimes they won’t. We hope you’ll enjoy these posts.


Oh, Moo, you did it. You made blank and grid and lined notebooks with that fabulous paper and the hint of colored paper sandwiched in the middle that we all begged for last year. You just made them as softcover journals ($6.99 for 64 pages) instead of the larger hardcover notebooks ($19.99 for 176 pages) that we all swooned over this time last year.

I had to doodle on the grey colored paper in the center section first. There are two signature in the center of each softcover notebook of the grey 135gsm Colorplan paper which is perfect for colored pencil, water-based markers and such. There’s no real reason to have the colored paper pages but I like them just the same. I do wish each Softcover Journal had different colored Colorplan paper in them but I can see why they didn’t — too many variables.

I, of course, tested the pastel pink blank notebook because I don’t like to be confined by lines. Some inks bled through a little bit but over all the performance is pretty solid.

The Munken Kristall paper is super smooth with very little tooth so I really liked pencil on it but I prefer harder lead grades so they appeared darker but did not smear. Darker lead grades would be extra smudgy, I suspect.

Hopefully, you can see the couple dots where the Pen BBS ink in the wider nib and the Oster Soda Pop Blue bled through.

The lined paper has very faint lines that do not run all the way to the edge of the page and include space at the bottom of the page for a page number or other marginalia.

The visible sewn binding is neat and clean and tightly done.

The only branding on the outside of the notebooks is a debossed Moo logomark on the back of the notebooks. Points to Moo for keeping it subtle.

The Moo Softcover Journal is 5.12″ (13cm) x 8.15″ (20.7cm) which is not a true A5 (14.8cm × 21cm) nor is it an American half sheet (5.5″ x 8.5″) so finding a suitable cover or carrying case for it may be a bit of a challenge. Height-wise, it will fit in an A5 Traveler’s Notebook or Roterfaden it will just be narrower than your other notebooks.


After Ana reviewed the MOO hard cover journal a while ago, I’ve been eager to try MOO notebooks. So when she offered me my choice of MOO’s soft-covered notebooks I eagerly selected one to test.

I chose the turquoise with a grey dot grid. For 2018, I’ve decided to carry an A5 Hobonichi Techo Cousin, and I found that the MOO notebook, while not quite A5 dimensions, fits neatly into the front of my Chic Sparrow cover as a companion to the Hobonichi.

So far I’ve been using the MOO notebook as a catch-all for everything from to-do and packing lists, to a place to jot down quotes, ideas for projects, test new pens, and more. The 100 gsm paper is nice and smooth and it handles fountain pens pretty well. There is definitely some ghosting, but the ink doesn’t appear to bleed through the page. I’ve tested a variety of fountain, ballpoint and rollerballs in the process and while ballpoint is the clear winner in terms of being able to use every page of the notebook, I think I’m okay with fountain pen ink as well.

Overall, I really enjoyed this notebook and feel like it’s a good, reasonably-priced solution for those for whom pocket notebooks are a bit too small or awkward, but without adding the heft larger bound or hard covered journals.

Laura is a tech editor, podcaster, knitter, spinner and recent pen addict. You can learn more about her knitting and tea adventures on her website, The Corner of Knit & Tea and can find her on Instagram as Fluffykira.

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

Giveaway: NockCo Seed A6 Cases

Giveaway: NockCo Seed A6 Cases

Last week I reviewed the NockCo Seed A6 Hobonichi cases. This week, I’d like to give two readers a chance to try them out for themselves so I am giving away one steel/silver dust and one iris/electric blue case (pictured above, Hobonichi and pens not included).

TO ENTER: Leave a comment and tell me what size or color combo you hope NockCo will offer next for their notebook cases. (Also, let me know if you’d prefer to get the steel or iris case!)

FINE PRINT: All entries must be submitted by 10pm CST on Monday, November 20, 2017. 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 actual 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 – just email you if you win. If winner does not respond within 7 days, I will draw a new giveaway winner. Shipping via USPS first class. Additional shipping options or insurance will have to be paid by the winner. We are generous but we’re not made of money. US residents and APO/FPO only please.

Link Love: More Pens, Less Cones.

Lucy is out of her cone!

Post of the Week:




Paper & Notebooks:

Other Interesting Things:

Review: Sheaffer Star Wars Rollerball Pen and Pencil Case

Review: Sheaffer Star Wars Rollerball Pen and Pencil Case

If you’ve ever encountered me at the airport or a pen show, you may have uncovered my other obsession besides pens… I’m a Star Wars nerd, so much so that my suitcase is R2-D2. So, when I got upset last year about the Cross Star Wars pens, it wasn’t an act. I can go off about them at a moment’s notice and I often do. You can ask my poor office mate. He has had to listen to me vent about them more times than he  care to count.  And I go on and on…

I believe that licensed products (that’s fancy talk for branded merchandise for a given franchise) is a good thing. There’s a lot of fans with a lot of money to spend and they want to spend it on good merchandise like the almost prop-quality time turners from Harry Potter, or the Montegrappa Game of Thrones pens. They look fabulous and to other fans, they know what they are. To non-fans, they just look cool.

And then there’s all the other licensed products out there. The stuff that just has “Gryffindor” printed on it and sells for $29 so your parents can buy you something at Christmas because they know you love Harry Potter. That’s kind of how I feel about the Sheaffer Star Wars products — with a caveat…

First… Can I point out the packaging says that Sheaffer is a “Pen & Art Supply Co”? This is new. I will leave the rest of the description of the company up to you, dear reader, to interpret how you wish.

I purchased my rollerball pen ($19.99) and pencil case ($14.99) at my local big box store for full retail price. I couldn’t bring myself to buy the full set of Darth Vader and Yoda pens or the fountain pen versions. The rollerball pen came with a standard black medium point which, for me, writes like a fire hose.

The pen barrel is plastic and screen printed with graphics so the longevity of the designs are iffy at best. The clip and end caps are metal but not very high quality so they are also likely to bend or chip. The grip section has a rubber coating which also has a shelf life. Though the pen does have a replaceable ink cartridge so you will be able to get more than one refill’s use out of it, this is definitely not meant to be a “forever” pen.

The cap does post and it doesn’t make it too heavy or too backward weighted. The pen, capped weighs 16gms.

Capped, its 5″. Uncapped, it’s just shy of 5″ and posted it’s 6.75″ long.

You can see that the rubber grip picks up dust, lint and hair and any moisture or oil will alter the coating over time.

Can you see why I don’t like rollerballs? It makes my handwriting look atrocious! The stock black cartridge is a dark matte black though so if that’s your cup of tea, you’ll be pleased. Me? It makes me write like a grade schooler tweaked out on too much Halloween candy.

As for the pencil case, there are two inner slit pockets to hold cards or help separate erasers, cartridges or other smaller items from your larger pens and tools. The overall exterior material is a lightweight nylon, lined with black nylon. It does not feel particularly heavy duty. The case measures 9.75″ x 5.25″ so its big enough to hold water brushes, unsharpened Blackwings, paint markers and other longer-than-usual tools.

There is branding inside and outside of the bag as well for both Disney and Star Wars on plasticky tags. Its a bit overkill since the logo is printed on the bag itself too. But No one asked me.

My last note is that while the graphics on the pen are crisp screen printed designs, the graphics on the bag are loose watercolor designs so the set does not really go together aesthetically. I feel the same way about the Darth Vader and Yoda designs too. The whole line feels very hodge podge. And to be honest, the pen should be closer to $10 and the pencil case closer to $8 really  though I suspect that the pricing was anticipation for big box markdowns.

Bob is going to field test the durability of the graphics on the pen by tumbling it in his pocket, bag and shop apron for a few weeks to see how long it survives in real world wear-and-tear in the print shop. I’ll post “after” photos in a few weeks.

DISCLAIMER: These items were purchased with my own money. Please see the About page for more details.