Fountain Pen Review: Opus88 Flow Fountain Pen

Fountain Pen Review: Opus88 Flow Fountain Pen

The new Opus88 Flow fountain pen (€116) features solid resin colored cap (this model, in red) and a translucent, acrylic body with threads of color (this model features red, yellow and black threads). The Flow uses the same Japanese eyedropper filling system that all the Opus88 pens utilize.

The body of the pen is filled with ink and the twist mechanism on the end of the pen controls a shut-off valve that either allows or prohibits ink from reaching the nib. This system eliminates the burping issue that other eyedropper pens can suffer from. The series of rubber/silicone gaskets at each seal point also eliminates the need for silicone grease to keep ink from leaking at other points on the pen.

Opus 88 Flow Fountain Pen nib close-up

The nib is etched with a different logo than I’ve seen on other Opus88 pens. The Flow features a large #6 nib.

Opus 88 Flow Fountain Pen comparison

Yes, the Flow is a big pen. It measures 148mm (5-13/16″) capped and 137mm (5-3/8″) uncapped. I have two of the daintier Opus88 pens, the Koloro and the Fantasia and it’s clear to see the size difference.

Opus 88 Flow Fountain Pen comparison

The Flow doesn’t post but it’s still almost as long unposted as the Fantasia is capped. The diameter of the Flow is wider than the other two pens as well.

Opus 88 Flow Fountain Pen comparison

Just to give some perspective, the above photo shows the Flow with some other pens. From left to right: Sailor Pro Gear Slim, Lamy Safari, the Opus88 Flow, Aurora Optima and Kaweco Sport.

Opus 88 Flow Fountain Pen Comparison

It’s pretty easy to see, even with the other pens posted, the Opus88 Flow is bigger than most of these.

Opus 88 Flow Fountain Pen writing sample

The Flow is a lot lighter pen in the hand than I had expected considering how large it is. It’s also not nearly as uncomfortable in my mouse-sized hands as I was expecting either.

The Flow weighs 30gms, capped and filled and 20gms uncapped and filled. The Common Weights Chart below give some perspective. The Flow, despite being big, isn’t that heavy.

Opus88 nib swap

I’m pretty sure the nib on the Opus88 Flow is a #6 Jowo nib. I was able to easily swap out the nib (keeping the feed and housing from the Opus88 because the housing has a rubber gasket on the bottom) to a 1.1mm Bock nib that I had floating around.

Opus88 nib swap writing sample

The nib swap worked great and any nib that requires more ink with this pen is probably a good thing.

Overall, I am a big fan of the brand Opus88 and the Flow is a good addition. I would like to see Opus88 keep or add smaller pens to their line-up. All their current pens are large and getting larger. But the filling system, clear bodies and swappable nib options make them a great option for many people. And its priced right too.

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

Setting up my new home office

Setting up my new home office

While much of the world is starting to adapt to a life of working from home, I am in the process of setting up a home office in preparation for my new life. What form that will take exactly, I’m not sure.

I was recently laid-off from my job of 19 years. This lay-off occurred just weeks before the COVID-19 pandemic began to spread across the globe. Unlike other people who have lost jobs as a result of the pandemic, I was already unemployed and largely staying at home before our current shelter-at-home policy took effect.

I had not really started thinking about how or where I would work until the shelter-at-home requirements had been put into place. My timing is terrible, I know. The BWI Pen Show and the Arkansas Pen Show were immediately after my lay-off and I hoped they would provide an infusion of funds and much-needed time with friends and penthusiasts.

Once I returned home after the Arkansas Pen Show, I realized it was time to get serious about dusting off my resume and portfolio and start planning for my new life, whatever form that may take.

Part of that planning included needing to set-up an actual work space at home. Previously, I had been making do, working from the kitchen counter or precariously balancing my CINTIQ on the edge of a tiny tabletop when freelance work was needed. This was not comfortable or the least bit ergonomic.

Initially, we were planning to acquire various new pieces from IKEA including an adjustable standing desk, new drawer units and accessories however the whole non-essential travel ban made it necessary to think inside the box. By that I mean, we needed to poke around our packrat house and try to locate items we could use or reuse. Bob found an old, extra-large (30″x40″) drafting board in the basement that he had purchased at a yard sale several years ago. He got out the power sander and some stain and urethane and refinished the drafting board into a new worktop for me. He also found an old set of IKEA legs at the print shop and mounted them on the bottom. Voila! a new-old desk.

my desk set-up 2020

It has enough room for my CINTIQ touch screen, laptop, bluetooth keyboard and some pretty bits so that it doesn’t feel too austere.

my desk set-up 2020

We rescued an old metal drawer unit from the print shop as well that I could use to put various ephemera bits. It currently has our postal scale (yes, we are still shipping out orders!) and I’ve added a couple of my Dudek pen blocks so I have both beautiful and useful writing tools at the ready.

Things on my desk

Also on my desk are:

And before anyone asks, it looks like the cover on my laptop is no longer available on Amazon but similar designs can be found here.

Have you set-up a work-from-home space? Are you making do on your couch or kitchen table? Or are you still able to go to your job wherever it may be?

Thanks to my sponsors for providing some of the images I use for Fashionable Friday. Please consider making your next purchase from one of the shops that support this blog and let them know you heard about them here. Thanks for your support and for supporting the shops that help keep it running.

DISCLAIMER: The item in this review include affiliate links. The Well-Appointed Desk is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon. Please see the About page for more details.

Eye Candy: Princeton Architectural Press Little Notes

Eye Candy: Princeton Architectural Press Little Notes

When Princeton Architectural Press sent me their newest Little Notes in African Batik  and Katazome (30 sheets and envelopes $16.95) a couple weeks ago, I thought to myself, “Well, these are cute but will people get much use out of them?” Then, the Covid-19 lockdowns started and I realized that these little notes are more relevant than ever. Not only are people taking this time of social distancing and reconnecting by mail but these little notes can also be used to leave messages to loved ones in your home.

Write a love letter or a haiku or anecdote or a promise of something you’ll do together once our forced separation/isolation is over.

Princeton Archtiectural Press Little Notes

Pop them in the mail or tuck them into a drawer or cupboard, stick them to the fridge or hide them under a pillow.

The paper is a little toothy but handled my fountain pen just fine as well as my typewriter.

For whatever reason, the little envelopes don’t fit sideways in the box. You would think they should but they are a little too wide. I suppose since the paper fits in the bottom and the envelopes are wider than the paper it makes sense but it annoys me.

Princeton Archtiectural Press Little Notes Batik

The only downside I see with these notes is a lack of space on the front to write an address. I made due with some label stickers I had floating around.

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

Link Love: (Week Two Quarantine)

Wash Your Hands Raccoon

For me, this is my second week of social distancing/quarantine/lockdown. Tuesday was the start of a 30-day Stay-at-Home Order from the city of Kansas City. Previously, we were just recommended to practice social distancing, but this week things have gotten more serious.

I would love to make Link Love entirely a place for escape from the Covid-19 concerns in our world but I’m sure, like me, it’s good to have resources and inspiration for how to get through these tough times and also to hear how others are doing. Thankfully, the internet has made it possible for us all to not feel so alone.

However, using pens and pencils allow us to escape from the digital boxes. Like Laura posted yesterday, there has never been a better time to redouble journaling efforts to document this historic time. Journals provide a safe place to put down all our worries too. We can also take time to tackle some correspondence and reconnect in a more analog way (check out the Thank You, Internet post from Typewriter Revolution).

Love Ana

My hope is that you and your loved ones are healthy and well and that we must just concern ourselves with how to get through a trying time. If you have other suggestions or stories about your time in isolation, please post them in the comments.




Notebooks & Paper:

Art & Creativity:

Other Interesting Things: Covid-19 related:

Journaling in the time of Covid-19

Review by Laura Cameron

How are you? No really. I’m asking how you are. Because the last two weeks have been a whirlwind and I feel like I’ve fallen through the looking glass into a completely different world. And sometimes I’m ok, and sometimes I’m not.

About a week and a half ago, I saw a Tweet that talked about the importance of journaling right now, not just to alleviate one’s own anxiety, but because we are living in a historical time and what we write could become a primary source for future generations.

I thought about this, and about how journaling has helped me during the worst of times (I suffer from anxiety disorder and my 20s were ROUGH), and decided it was a good idea. I don’t hold myself to any particular time or format, but I try and write daily or at least every other day. Whether it’s the endless statistics that I seem to have numbed my mind to, or my swirling feelings and emotions, I’m finding it cathartic to write whatever is in my head down on paper.

When I decided to start, I first had to choose whether this journal should be electronic or handwritten. As you might guess, I opted for handwritten. I went to my drawer of notebooks and selected a nice bound volume, my Elemental Notebook. (The irony that I am writing about a respiratory pandemic in a volume dedicated to the element Oxygen does not escape my notice.)

I keep my notebook next to me on the couch, and write when the moment feels right. Although I have a ton of fountain pens, I find myself using my Retro Twinkle Popper for most of my entries. Whether or not I’ll go back and re-read my entries, or share it with future generations, or whether it will ever see the light of day, I’m finding comfort in this daily exercise. And it’s helping me be more ok.

I hope you and your families are safe and healthy and finding comfort in small things right now.

Pen Review: Moonman Fountain Pens

Pen Review: Moonman Fountain Pens

I’ve had these two Moonman fountain pens for several months and had been trying to decide whether to review them separately or together. I decided that it would be efficient to review them together since I’ve sat on them for so long. The two models are the M2 and C1. I happen to have the C1 in the limited edition Holiday design but a standard model is still currently available. The M2 has been reviewed on this site previously by Laura as well.

Both pens are capable of being eyedroppered and feature a trio of silicone o-rings to keep the ink from leaking without the need for silicone grease.

The Moonman C1 Holiday edition came in a simple paperboardboard with a foam insert diecut out to hold the pen and the eyedropper as well as a paper insert describing the pen and company. I confess that I never read these little paper blow-ins. I’m sure there’s some sort of warranty info or details about the company and other pens or even how to fill the pen but at this point in my pen-buying career, I don’t really need it.

Moonman C1

The C1 is a simple tube design with one side flattened to keep the pen from rolling off the table. This particular model was printed with holiday icons and a special red/blue/purple swirl-with-shimmering-sparkles grip.

Franklin-Christoph Nib swap on Moonman C1

The C1 takes a standard #6 nib. I swapped out the nib on this with a spare Franklin-Christoph nib I had laying around. The pen came with a stock F nib that acted more like a wet M nib which is a little felt tip pen-like for me. The Franklin-Christoph nib I put on the pen is a SIG Fine which is also wet but has some character to the line.

Moonman M2

The Moonman M2 comes in the same sort of plastic box that TWSI uses. Inside is a diecut foam shape with the pen and eyedropper.

Moonman M2

Moonman M2

The Moonman M2 is clean, smooth and cigar-shaped. It reminds me a little of the Franklin-Christoph Pocket 66. The EF nib is gold toned steel which seems to be in contrast to the overall aesthetic of this pen. I think a silver toned nib would have looked better.

The M2 is postable but the cap doesn’t stay on very tightly.

Moonman M2

I needed to run a metal flossing sheet through the tines a couple times because the flow was starved.

Moonman Fountain Pen header

Here is a close-up of the title written with the F-C SIG Fine.

Moonman writing samples

Both pens are comfortable to hold and use (the C1 is 22gms capped and 17gms and the M2 is 15gms capped/posted and 12gms uncapped). They are lightweight and well-balanced. The nibs for both were a bit disappointing (hence, the swap and flossing). To be honest, the original M2 that Laura reviewed was sent to me first and I wasn’t crazy about the nib on that one either. Being able to easily swap out the nibs is a good option.

pen weight comparison chart

The rubber o-rings are a lovely addition to an eyedropper fountain pen. Both of these pens are fairly inexpensive so using them to test inks, swap nibs or just goof around they are nice additions. Aesthetically, the clean, simple designs are an added benefit.


DISCLAIMER: The item in this review include affiliate links. The Well-Appointed Desk is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon. Please see the About page for more details.i