Pen Addict Podcast Annual Gift Guide Follow-Up

gift guide 2015

I thought I’d provide visuals and some follow-up to a lot of the products that I recommended in the Pen Addict Podcast Gift Guide episode which went live yesterday. There are lots of links in the show notes for everything that Brad and Myke mentioned but I thought I’d include all the inks I didn’t go into detail about last night so that I didn’t bore everyone to tears.

So here goes:

For the fountain pen/ink/paper combo, I recommended the Pilot Retro Pop Metropolitan ($15) line with matching Rhodiarama notebook ($18-$30) and coordinating inks as follows:

coloring books

The adult coloring books that I gushed about are:

If you would like to gift a coloring book to someone, I would recommend pairing it with either a set of good quality colored pencils in a set of 24 or 36. I like Prismacolor Premiers the best but they are a little pricey and can break easily. Crayola makes reasonably priced pencils you can share with your kids, Blick’s house brand Studio pencils are a good quality and many of the higher end brands of artist quality materials make “student” or “academic” grade that are a little less expensive than artist’s quality but richer in color than kid’s colors. If you want to hear me go on for an hour about colored pencils, check out the Erasable podcast on Colored Pencils where the boys let me blabber on about grades of colored pencils if you want more details. Markers are another option to pair with coloring books and Myke, Brad and I unanimously agreed that the Staedtler Triplus Fineliners were and excellent option.

And I absolutely have to add those Keep Fresh Stay Rad postcards to my wishlist now. Wow. Nice pic, Brad!


Thanks for inviting me onto the show again, gentlemen. Its an honor and privilege. Happy shopping and wish list making, everyone!


The New Karas Kustoms INK

Karas Kustom INK olive green anodized

The first improvement to the Karas Kustoms INK fountain pen is a snazzy wrap, letterpress printed right here in Kansas City by Skylab Letterpress — not that I’m biased or anything. But it is pretty spiffy, isn’t it?

Karas Kustom INK olive green anodized

Inside is a stellar anodized INK in olive green. Pictured here with a fabulous autumn-y skein of yarn that my friend Laura picked up in Montana on a recent road trip.

The new version of the INK is available in several other colors as well, of course. These include the silver aluminum, and other anodized finishes — blue, black, brown,  green, gold, grey, orange, pink, red, and violet, as well as solid copper and solid brass, and a tumbled raw aluminum. And of course, the olive green I received.

There is also a clipless model available for an even sleeker look. The INK and the INK Clipless start at $95 with slightly higher prices for brass and copper grip sections or bodies.

This model is accented with the brass grip section and is the best looking though, in my humble opinion. You are welcome to disagree.

Karas Kustom INK olive green anodized

Karas Kustom INK olive green anodized

What I noticed the minute I saw the INK was that the color was a dead ringer for my 1981 Vespa PK125 scooter. But I figured I had to prove it. See?

Karas Kustom INK olive green anodized

Perfect match.

Karas Kustom INK olive green anodized

Karas Kustom INK olive green anodized

In writing, the best part of the INK is the new Bock nib. Its super smooth and scaled to match the larger proportions of the INK very well. The whole pen feels smoother between the threads to the grip to the barrel. Overall, the whole pen feels more refined in small, meaningful ways.

Now for whatever reason, I decided to fill the INK with Noodler’s Black Swan in Australian Roses. I guess I’m getting hit with a bit of the Christmas time spirit but the ink flowed smoothly and the pen wrote beautifully. When I started writing with the INK I forgot about the pen and  just focused on what I was writing– my thought and my words. And really, isn’t that what you want from a pen? A really good pen should just melt away and be an extension of your arm, right? Well, the INK did that for me to the point that I had to remind myself I was writing with it for a review. So that’s really the best kind of writing experience.

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

Tune-in: 3rd-ish Annual Pen Addict Holiday Gift Guide Podcast


Monday afternoon (THAT’S TODAY!)  at 5:30 EST, the Pen Addict podcast will be recording the 4th Annual Holiday Gift Guide Live (but the third time that I’ll be on as co-co-co-host)! So if you’d like to tune in and listen live, pop over to Relay.FM a few minutes before and join in on the chitter chatter. If you can’t make it, you can download the episode later on. It should be episode #182, title TBD. The show notes should include gobs of links and I’ll be sure to post a follow-up here with additional information as well. Sorry for the short notice. Its been such a busy week and I just assume you can all read my mind. You knew this was coming, right?

Endless Bag Quest

current bags

Its not just me, right? Besides perpetually questing for the perfect pen, ink, notebook, planner, pencil, ad nauseum, you also are on the perpetual hunt for the perfect bag too?

I have several bags that are pretty close but not perfect. There are occasions where I need something slightly smaller, slightly larger, slightly more rugged or slightly more dressy, etc. Gentlemen in the audience who have fewer requirements, I suspect, and more pockets (“I am only slightly jealous of the amount of pockets sewn into men’s clothing,” she’s says ironically) but I also hear men raise similar ranges of needs so I’m trying not to pigeonhole anyone. Is there a “perfect” bag or can we ever get to one or two perfect bags? One for work, one for travel and maybe one for weekend jaunts?

The bags I currently have in circulation are:

I work a corporate, 9-to-5 job and I feel I’ve reached a point where most backpacks look too academic to carry to work. However, I do carry a good deal of stuff with me so I need a decent-sized bag. I like being able to switch between some sort of handle for getting in and out of a car and then use a shoulder strap/cross body strap for the 0.25 mile walk from the parking lot to my desk. Really. It’s a big campus.

Stuff in my bag

Usual contents of daily bag are:

  • pen case (pictured is my favorite LWA member-only pen case)
  • notebook (not pictured, currently XL Moleskine soft cover book)
  • planner (pictured Filofax Personal Original in dark aqua)
  • travel mug/water bottle
  • knitting project (not shown: can be small sock project or whole dang sweater)
  • small cosmetics bag (vintage Girl Scout fabric purchased at Renegade Craft Fair in Chicago)
  • phone
  • ear buds
  • sunglasses
  • business cards (Pantone case)
  • wallet (Coach wristlet)

Moleskine MyCloud bags

I’ve considered one of the Moleskine MyCloud bags ( I know, its crazy talk but I like the subtle exterior and the bright interior colors). They look well-constructed as well. There are an assortment of internal pockets for devices, pens and accesories but I cant’ find many review online so I am having to scrounge information. I have space credits (AKA money in my PayPal account) right now so I’m considering the reporter ($139.95) or the tote ($159.95). I do agree that our bags are our mobile offices and our desks-on-the-go especially when travelling.

Do you have a favorite bag? Or are you, like me, still hunting for the perfect combination of good looks and functionality?

Vendredi a la Mode: Paris, Je T’aime


After the tragedy in Paris last week, I started to think about how much the pen community is inspired and influenced by French culture. From J. Herbin to  Clairefontaine, there does seem to be a love of the French influence.There’s also lots of stationery embellished with the Eiffel Tower and other icons. I, myself, have always wanted to visit France and Paris in particular. So far, the closest I’ve gotten was a short stop at the Charles de Gaulle Airport on my way to Italy. I did get to buy water and an Eiffel Tower trinket and practice speaking to the clerk in French which went okay but my accent must have been bad because she immediately spoke English. I still said “Merci” so all was well.

Anyway, I still want to visit Paris, despite the tragedies this week. I will not be scared away. I want to visit the Louvre and the epic art supply shop, Sennelier. I want to drink coffees in street cafes and watch the people walk by. I want to listen to the French language and try to pick out the few words I know.

  • Pilot Metropolitan Fountain Pen – Retro Pop Red, Medium $15 (via Goulet Pens)
  • Retro 51 Tornado Classic Lacquer Rollerball in Stainless $25 (via Anderson Pens)
  • Zebra SL-F1 Mini 0.7 mm Ballpoint Pen in White with Black Ink $5 (via JetPens)
  • Ogiva Cocktail Blue Angel 14kt Fine Extra Flessibile Fountain Pen $394.95 (via Goldspot Pens)
  • Kaweco ART Sport Fountain Pen $81 (via Pen Chalet)
  • Palomino Blackwing Pearl Pencils $21.95 per dozen (via
  • Lamy AL-star ocean blue fountain pen € 26,90 (via Fontoplumo)
  • Kyokuto French Classic Notebook, B5, Ruled in Blue $6 (via JetPens)
  • Dear Maison Eiffel Tower Double-Sided Notebook, A5 (15x21cm) Ruled $6.95 (via Notemaker)
  • Sara Midda’s South of France: A Sketchbook $20.39 (via Amazon)
  • J. Herbin Mini Ink in Bleu Azur (Azure Blue) $4.75 (via JetPens)
  • Galison Paris Magnetic Bookmarks $5.75 (via JetPens)
  • De Atramentis Herbs de Provence (35ml Bottle) $14.95 (via Goulet Pens)
  • G. Lalo Calligraphy Pad A5 in White $15.95 (via Notemaker)
  • Exacompta Basic Journal in Black with Lined Paper and Silver Edge $16 (via Goulet Pens)
  • Paris in Color book $12.18 (via Amazon)

And finally, I have been looking for a way to help those most affected by what happened in Paris and I found this article in the Huffington Post about some crowdfunding campaigns aimed to help the families who lost loved ones in the attacks. The hardest part of reading these stories is seeing the individual faces of innocent people who had no political agenda for being out on a Friday night. If you’d like to help out in other ways, please consider making a donation to the Red Cross or Doctors Without Borders.



Link Love: Expensive Pen Week




Paper & Notebooks:

Planners & Organizers:

Other Interesting Things:

Finally, from the “Why didn’t I think of this” File, this holiday card currently available from Postable:

(Candy Cane Paper Clips By Postable, starts at $2.00)

Agendio: A New Planner System

agendio planner

Agendio is a new planner system that just launched. Agendio offers an array of customization as you order your planner on their step-by-step site. You can choose weekly or monthly planners (or the combination) in three sizes: from large desk size (8.5×11″ closed), medium (7×9.3″ closed) and journal (5.5×7″ closed). For the weekly planners you can then select from a column layout, a row layout or a grid layout and then get even more grandual and select section headers, spans, time formatting, holidays by country and/or religion, font styles and colors.

Agendio Planner

You can choose when you want your planner to start (if can even start in November if you want!) and what day you want your weeks to start — on Monday or on Thursday — yes, its that flexible.

One of the most interesting options offered is the flexible fields (Agendio calls them Divisibles). They are set up so they can be sub-divided and labelled as you need them. Are you juggling school and a job and need to divide information and tasks between those two categories? You can label your fields accordingly. Do you prefer to divide your daily tasks between family members’ activities? You can label the fields that way instead. In my case, I wanted to label fields for work, home and the blog (AKA my OTHER job). I loved that I was able to set up the sections accordingly.

Agendio Planner

You can add in you own recurring events too. Do you have a weekly meeting every Tuesday? Have it added to the planner at printing. You can even add a special event, birthdays, anniversaries or other events you want to include.

Agendio Planner

The Agendio uses 60lb/90gsm smooth white paper which is above-average quality paper. It might not survive the super juiciest fountain pens but should work well with most rollerballs, ballpoints, gels and highlighters. The Agendio books are bound with white double o-ring wires and covered with a leather-look hard cover material that lays flat and is durable (all while being non-cow). There are six different cover colors to choose from and I can’t decide which one I like best.

Prices range between about $35 and $50 or so depending on your size and level of customization but adding event and activities, divisibles or changing fonts or colors does not increase costs. Prices only go up if you go to a larger size, combine weekly AND monthly calendars, or add add-ons. Compared with systems like the Erin Condren and others the prices for the Agendio is almost half the price and just a tiny bit higher than an off-the-shelf Moleskine planner.

There are some additional add-ons like a pocket and vertical elastic (available in a variety of colors for some cover options like the black cover) for a reasonable added cost (about $2-$3 each).

Agendio is estimating shipping in 5-10 days after placing an order so plan accordingly. Maybe order the December start rather than the November. But again, that is wicked fast turnaround. I’ve heard people wait 4-6 weeks for planners from some of the other custom planner companies so jump in fast before they get swamped!

Agendio Planner

For diehard ring-bound planner users, Agendio will be offering their fully customizable sheets as refills for A5 Filofaxes and 7-hole Franklin Covey Classic and Day-Timer Desk sizes but those are not available yet. You can leave your email address with them and they will contact you around November 28 to order your custom pages for 2015.

I’ll be ordering one this week once I sort out all my options and then I’ll have a full review. If anyone decides to try one too, please let me know what you think. I’m dying to hear how these perform while I anxiously await mine.

Hot Off The Press: I Got Sh*t To Do Notepads

"Shit to do" notepads

After an impassioned conversation with my husband about how I wanted a really good notepad to put into my planner that went something like this:

“I need a really good notepad… you know with a tear-off glue edge to make lists?”

“For what?”

“Because I … well, I got shit to do!”

“That’s what it should say!”

“Well, then, let’s make them. But its got to have good paper for fountain pens and they need to glue along the left hand side so I can put it in my Hobonichi or my Filofax… or even my Midori!”

“Well, hon, go measure them and I’ll print them for you.”

"Shit to do" notepads

Voila! We made notepads. And when I told other people about them they said they would want some too. So, we made enough to sell them. We made some glued on the top because some people like that too.

"Shit to do" notepads

And it worked. The pads are 3.5″x6″ and contain 40 pages. They fit into a Hobonichi Techo, a Midori Traveler’s Notebook (original size), a personal size Filofax (or other planner of similar size) and even in an A5 sized planner. It will slide into the back pocket of a Moleskine-style gusset pocket as well.

"Shit to do" notepads

The paper is 70lb bright white with cement grey lines spaced 6mm apart. The artwork is letterpress printed by Skylab Letterpress right here in Kansas City with materials made in the US. And if you want to buy one of your own, hop over to my Big Cartel shop. We made a limited run to see if there would be interest in the product. If we get good response, we’ll be printing other, potentially more PG designs in the future.


Fashionable Friday: Colors of Autumn


  • Sticky Notes “Found Objects: Leaves” $6.50 (via Girl of All Work)
  • Waterman Fountain Pen Ink in Absolute Brown $8.64 (via JetPens)
  • Delta Virtuosa Fountain Pen in Dark Ivory SALE $112.50 (via Pen Chalet)
  • Karas Kustoms The Bolt Ballpoint Pen Brass £68.50 (via Cult Pens)
  • Visconti Classic Fountain Pen in Orange SALE $138 (via Pen Chalet)
  • Planner 2016 $22 (via Baron Fig)
  • Paperblanks Lined Ultra Journal in Stitched Splendour Rosa $21.95 (via Anderson Pens)
  • Diamine Fountain Pen Mini Ink in Pumpkin $7.50 (via JetPens)
  • Edison Beaumont Fountain Pen in Bedrock Flake $149 (via Goulet Pens)
  • Omas Ogiva Cocktail Fountain Pen in Bloody Mary with 14kt Fine (Extra Flessibile) Nib $395 (via Goulet Pens)
  • Bronze Tendril Wire Clips Set of 25 $6.99 (via Girl of All Work)
  • CDT Leather Pen Case $85 (via Fresh Stock Japan)
  • Pilot Vanishing Point Cherry Bamboo Medium Point Fountain Pen SALE $287.95 (via Goldspot Pens)
  • Uni Mitsubishi Hi-Uni Pencil in 2B $2.35 (via JetPens)

Link Love: The Late Edition

(This week's Link Love illustration was created by artist Chris Purcell in Adobe Illustrator)

(This week’s Link Love illustration was created by artist Chris Purcell in Adobe Illustrator)




Paper & Notebooks:

Planners & Organizers:

Other Interesting Things:

Submit your Link Love art: To be the featured artist on an upcoming Link Love, write, draw, photograph, or doodle an original “Link Love” image. It can be lettering, calligraphy, your own interpretation of Link or anything else you think might relate to the weekly list of pen/pencil-centric blog links. Email your submission to me at chair @ Please include any link information you’d like in the image credit (your name, Twitter handle, Instagram, blog, etc). Also include any information about inks, tools, paper, etc used in your creation. Please let me know that I have permission to publish your work in Link Love and that the image is your original piece.

Kickstarter: Baron Fig Squire Pen

Baron Fig Squire Kickstarter

After successfully launching their Confidant notebooks, Baron Fig has decided to tackle the pen market now too. Today, they launched their first entry into the pen market, The Squire. The simple design, aluminum pen is available in two finishes: silver and charcoal to match their signature notebooks. The Squire features a twist mechanism to reveal the pen tip and was designed to be small enough to fit in your pocket but long enough to fit comfortably in your hand.

The Squire is etched with the Baron Fig name and a sword, as in “mightier than a… ” All in all the design is clean and simple.

The Baron Fig Squire uses a Parker-style 0.6 mm fine capless rollerball refill so there are lots of options for modifying what type of refills you might use with the  pen.

The project can be backed for as little as $50 and the project has already been funded after being live for just five hours. There’s several other funding options, some of which include a special limited edition Confidant notebook too. You in?


Pen Review: Staedtler Triplus Fineliner Nature Colors 6-colors Set

Staedtler nature colors triplus fineliner markers

First, I promise this is the last set of Staedtler Triplus Finerliner markers I will review because I have them all now. I couldn’t resist. That said, the Nature Set of Staedtler Triplus Fineliners ($7.50) are probably my favorite set. It could be because they are the most seasonally appropriate here in the autumnal continental US right now. The set features Green Earth, Warm Sepia, Tuscan Red, Gray, Carmine and Mauve (which looks more like plum to me but I never think anyone names colors properly anyway). The gray in this set is actually a totally usable gray, unlike the silver gray in the Pastel set which is too pale to be usable for writing.

Staedtler nature colors triplus fineliner markers

Actually, I found all the colors in this set usable for writing and there is enough variation in color to create visual interest in note-taking to be interesting without being jarring. Sophisticated palette appropriate for nature sketches or just because.

The Staedtler Triplus Fineliners feature the slim 0.3mm felt tip point, water soluble ink, triangular barrels, and ink designed to be able to be uncapped for long periods of time without drying out. The set comes in the fold-over plastic travel case which is sturdy and easy to use.

Staedtler nature colors triplus fineliner markers

Now, if Staedtler would just make a set of these markers with waterproof ink , I would be the happiest person in the world. But overall, these are wonderful and if you are not trying to combine them with watercolor or other water soluble pens or brushes, I recommend them with my highest praise.

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

Winner: Kaweco Brass Sport Giveaway

Thanks so much to Fontoplumo for sponsoring our Fountain Pen Day giveaway. The Kaweco Brass Sport is a much coveted pen and many congrats to our winner:

Screen Shot 2015-11-09 at 11.08.47 AM

Screen Shot 2015-11-09 at 11.14.17 AM

Congrats, Linda! I will be contacting you via email to make arrangements for shipping and thanks to everyone who participated in Fountain Pen Day. Let’s keep the celebration going all year long!

Pen Review: Crayola Gel Markers

Crayola Gel Markers

A few weeks ago I saw a post on Instagram where a calligrapher was doing some amazing lettering on black paper and laying off to the side was the distinctive undulating line on the marker of the Crayola wedge marker but the marker was black. Why had I never seen one of these markers before and how was the ink standing up all opaque on black paper?!?!? I must know what this is and I must know now!!!!! Since I have access to the source that the Crayola catalog, I went hunting and discovered that the marker was a Crayola Gel Markers and I toddled myself down to our corporate store ASAP and purchased a package to test them out myself.

Crayola Gel Markers writing sample

There are only eight colors available in the set: a black that looks more dark grey than black, red, pink, yellow, purple, blue (aqua), green and white. While the color range is not super broad, the conical tip provides a range of line variation and they are actually a lot more opaque than I expected. The white is actually clear and dries white so it works best if used slowly so you can keep track of your strokes but all the other pens leave visible lines as you write. Going over the white lines will also create a more opaque white which was nice.

Crayola Gel Markers writing sample

As with all Crayola products, the pens are washable (which means they are water-soluble) and non-toxic (they may not taste great but you can lick them if you want to) so you can share these pens with your kids and they are also extremely reasonable priced. I believe I purchased my set for about $5 or $6 but I’m sure you can find them in a big box store for less.

Crayola Gel Markers writing sample

I think these would be great fun to use with coloring books or on construction paper and a fun way to practice calligraphy, address envelopes or generally spice up an already burgeoning pen collection without breaking the bank. Go forth and scribble!

While this post can be qualified as “plugging the firm” I purchased these with my own money and all the opinions expressed here are my own and are no way influenced by my place of employment.

Hobonichi Techo 2016

Hobonichi Techo 2016

I’m so excited to let you know that JetPens is stocking Hobonichi Techo planners for 2016 in the A6 size. And they are currently in stock! I got the fabulous blue-green canvas cover with the 2016 planner ($47 for the combo). There are four other color options for cover options available from JetPens: black, navy, pink, red, and yellow.

If you already have a cover, the planner can be purchased alone for $31.

If you’ve been wanting to order a Hobonichi Techo but have been concerned about international shipping or ordering issues, JetPens will make the shopping experience a breeze. But be swift, they’ve sold out of these once already this month!

Hobonichi Techo 2016

I am looking forward to adding some personal touches to my new Hobonichi and I’ll share those with you soon. I purchased a decorative plastic cover directly from last year I’ll be adding to my planner. Now to pick out the best pens and inks to go with this cover!

I also have an extra special treat to share with you all VERY SOON that will fit perfectly inside the Hobonichi covers so stay tuned!

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

Review: Moleskine Soft Cover XL Plain

Moleskine Soft cover XL

Before you start asking if the headaches are giving me brain damage, I have to say I asked myself the same question when I picked up this Moleskine Extra Large Plain Soft Cover Notebooks. In general, I find Moleskine notebooks leave me wanting but there was something about the size of this book that appealed to me.

The extra large Moleskine soft cover measures about 7.5×10″ so its bigger than an A5 but its not as large as a full US Letter size or A4. It kind of reminded me of a school composition notebook. And the flexible soft cover only added to the nostalgia.

The soft cover makes it lay flat easily and the covers can be folded back to easily work on either the let or right side of the pages at a time. The book mark ribbon is still unfinished on the end so I added a little white glue to edge to keep it from fraying. The soft cover books do include the gusseted pocket in the back and the vertical elastic, like all the other Moleskine editions.

I added a Leuchtturm 1917 pen loop to the back cover and set to work using it. I think I was really looking for something to tide me over until the start of the year when I plan to start keeping a regular journal in my new Hobonichi Techo.

Because of the soft cover, this book is super low profile. It takes up almost no space in my bag meaning I am taking it with me everywhere and using it for some daily journaling and a catch-all commonplace book.

Moleskine Soft cover XL

If I come to accept that there is showthrough (not necessarily bleed through) on the reverse side of my writing page, than this paper actually did quite well. Even with some fountain pens and brush markers, I didn’t have the issues I’ve had with other Moleskine books. This contains what I assume is the standard writing paper but maybe they’ve improve the stock somewhat because I didn’t get any of the weird splining or veining that I’ve noticed in the past.

Moleskine Soft cover XLI’m a little shocked at how well-behaved the paper is and how much I’m enjoying the larger size.I’ve been using it mostly with felt tip and gel pens at work with the occasional watercolor brush pen thrown in and the inks have not spread or done anything weird. In fact, I keep thinking I could probably use the back of the pages as well but I have been so burnt in the past by earlier editions of Moleskines that I I just keep using the right hand pages only. But I could use the left hand side as well. Really. I’m just as surprised as you are.

Sometimes, the right notebook for the right moment just sort of shows up and no matter how much you think, “Oh, no. I would never use a Moleskine. Its only for posers and hipsters,” you find that its not all that bad after all.

I made a guide sheet for myself for this particular size notebook. Is anyone else interested in these? If so, I’ll add them to the guide sheet page soon. Just leave me a note in the comments.

Fountain Pen Day Giveaway: Kaweco Brass Sport from Fontoplumo

fpdlogo2In honor of the third annual Fountain Pen Day which is Friday, Nov. 6, Fonotoplumo has kindly offered one Kaweco Brass Sport to giveaway to one lucky reader of The Well-Appointed Desk.

There are lots of other special deals, giveaways and other festivities to show off our collective fountain pen pride all over the internet this week, so have a look around. Fontoplumo is even offering a 100€ gift certificate drawing to anyone who has made a purchase in their shop in the last week. Check out this link for more details. And please support Fontoplumo and the many other vendors who are so graciously supporting the fountain pen community!

To enter to win, just leave a comment below. Tell me why you love fountain pens, why you need a new fountain pen or what you’re doing to celebrate Fountain Pen Day.

FINE PRINT: All entries must be submitted by 10pm CST on Sunday, November 09, 2015. All entries must be submitted at, not Twitter, Tumblr or Facebook, okay? Winner will be announced on Monday. 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. If winner does not respond within 30 days, I will draw a new giveaway winner. Shipping will be handled by Fontoplumo so I will have to share your address with them, they promise not to spam you either..

Link Love:

rp_link-ana1111111111111.jpgPosts of the Week:




Paper & Notebooks:

Planners & Organizers:

Other Interesting Things:

Submit your Link Love art: To be the featured artist on an upcoming Link Love, write, draw, photograph, or doodle an original “Link Love” image. It can be lettering, calligraphy, your own interpretation of Link or anything else you think might relate to the weekly list of pen/pencil-centric blog links. Email your submission to me at chair @ Please include any link information you’d like in the image credit (your name, Twitter handle, Instagram, blog, etc). Also include any information about inks, tools, paper, etc used in your creation. Please let me know that I have permission to publish your work in Link Love and that the image is your original piece.

Review: UniBall Signo DX 0.38 Hello Kitty Special Edition Pens

Uniball Signo DX Hello Kitty

I’m clearly catering to my inner 7-year-old this month. I saw the Uniball Signo DX 0.38 Hello Kitty Special Edition gel pens and the next thing I know, the whole color array was in my mail box. There are only five colors available: red, pink, orange, purple, green and blue and each sells for $3 (a $0.50 upcharge than the standard Signo DX 0.38 gel pens but KITTY!). The barrels of the pens are covered with Hello Kitty’s signature bows and feature the Hello Kitty logo and her face. Other than those little details, they are classic Uniball Signo DX gel pens with the rubber grip, metal cone above the tip, plastic clip on the cap and round, plastic barrel.

Uniball Signo DX Hello Kitty

The colors are clean and bright and easy to see. Its actually a great starter set of colors if you’ve never tried Uniball Signo DX pens before. The 0.38 width are my favorites and are great for writing on a wide variety of office papers like copies, planners, index cards and sticky notes.

They write smoothly and cleanly and are actually pretty water resistant. Safe enough for addressing envelopes and could be used in combination with water-based markers without making mud.

Uniball Signo DX Hello Kitty

If you are Kitty-averse, these same colors are available in the standard UniBall Signo DX UM-151 models in the 0.38 size. But c’mon, who doesn’t love Hello Kitty?

Ink Review: BungBox Ink of Witch

Bungbox Ink of Witch

Earlier this year, I went in on a group buy of some Bungbox inks and they finally arrived a few weeks ago. I am so far behind on my pile of reviews though that I am just getting around to trying them out. First up is the Bungbox Ink of Witch. I wanted to have the review up in time for Halloween but I grew up believing that Everyday is Halloween so let’s stick with that theory, shall we?

Ink of Witch comes in the beautiful low slung Sailor bottle I love with the little plastic cone inside to make filling a pen easy and pretty tidy. I used my Lamy Studio with a 1.1mm stub nib to show of maximum line variation. There’s a good deal of shading to the ink with the wide nib and it glides. Oh, Sailor! You really do make lovely inks!

I found the ink to actually be much blacker in color than the purple color I had anticipated. It reminded me of the sort of faded black of antique fabrics or documents. I always think old fabrics and documents get a purplish cast to them.

Bungbox Ink of Witch

That said, I think the color shows a definite purple sheen compared with the few (okay ONE) black ink in my collection. I’m definitely more inclined to use a purple black than I would be to use a black for everyday writing and note-taking.

When I start to think about black blacks, I want hardcore, waterproof black like Platinum Carbon Black for art-making purposes so Ink of Witch is actually quite appealing as a writing ink.

Ink of Witch can be purchased through Vanness in the US for $43 per bottle.

Review: Zebra Kirarich Glitter Highlighter and NaKniSweMo

Kirarich glitter highlighter

This may be a strange way to talk about a highlighter or the start of November but stick with me for a minute. The beginning of November for a lot of people means the start of NaNoWriMo. For many knitters, myself included, its the start of NaKniSweMo – National Knit-a-Sweater-in-a-Month. This is my seventh year participating and hopefully my seventh successful completion. I’ve had some fumbles over the years but there are seven well-loved sweaters in my closet thanks to NaKniSweMo so I’m willing to compete myself to the challenge again this year. No, its probably not as hard as writing a whole novel in a month but its good fun and a challenge just the same.

Kirarich glitter highlighter

And for me, it means that I need a good highlighter to notate my pattern and highlight the specific size I’m knitting. That’s where Zebra Kirarich Glitter Highlighter in yellow ($2.05 each) comes into the picture. I ordered it awhile ago and its become my go-to highlighter. Why? It’s glittery!!!! Its not so glittery as to be distracting. But I know its glittery. It will catch the light and sparkle and just sort of brighten my day. My highlighting is all of a sudden kissed by unicorns. Its totally ridiculous and twee but I’ve been having a rough few weeks so if glitter makes me happy, so be it.

The Kirarich Glitter Highlighters are also available in blue, pink, orange, purple and green. There’s a five pack set with all colors for $10 if you need ALL THE GLITTER or a smaller 3-pack with just the yellow, pink and green if you have a little self- control.


Kirarich glitter highlighter

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

Ask The Readers: Broad Nibs for the Vision Impaired

ask the readers header

Mark has a really great question, and I know that you, my readers, will have some great ideas for him:

I’m legally blind, and looking for a broad line. Currently, I use a Uni-ball Signo RT with 1.0mm refill. I’m considering the Ohto Fude Ball 1.5mm, Pilot VP with tuned broad nib, and Lamy 2000 with B or BB nib.

The Lamy BB looks nice and broad, but it has a reputation for QC issues. I’d love to see a line comparison between the Ohto Fude Ball and Vanishing Point in broad.

I tend to favor fine line pens so I’m not the best person to recommend broad nibs but that’s such a good option to help folks with vision issues. I’ve used the Kaweco BB nib and it lays down a THICK line. My instinct is that a European or US fountain pen with a broad nib, like most fountain pens, is going to have a broader nib than a Japanese pen, unless it is modified by a nibmeister.

Of course, the Nib Nook tool on Goulet Pens is a great to get a visible comparison between various B and BB nib options that they stock. Like this:

Nib Nook B and BB

In regards to gel pens, JetPens has a post on Broad Pens for its Penpedia that covers the pens it stocks from 1.0 to 1.6mm. There’s some good options there that will be both  broad and reasonably priced.

Does anyone have other thick line recommendations for Mark? Or some comparison images of some broad lines to share? If you include links in the comments, I’ll add them to the post. Thanks!

Link Love: EDK and Shimmer Inks

rp_link-ana1111111111111.jpgPosts of the Week, All Things EDK:




Paper & Notebooks:

Planners & Organization:

Other Interesting Things:

On A Personal Note: Pain Threshold

phrenology headOver the past several months, I’ve developed what I’ve come to discover are cluster headaches. At first, I thought it was just weird migraines. But I could not bounce back from them and the frequency was starting to rival re-runs of The Simpsons. I knew something wasn’t right. So I’ve been trying a lot of different meds – some work, some don’t.

The bottom line, is that the bouts of headaches have affected my overall work productivity. There are some days when I have to curl up and rest and hope that my brain stops trying to kill me from the inside.

My apologies if things have been a little light the last few weeks and if they remain so for a couple more weeks as I try to get myself back into balance.

Giveaway Winner: Karas Kustoms EDK from MassDrop

Karas Kustoms EDK

And now… the winner of the EDK Giveaway…

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Congrats, Shu! I’m so glad this EDK pen will get to go from its current land-locked residence to the beach with you. I hope you’ll share a photo of the pen tanning itself on the shores. I’ll be contacting you directly to arrange shipment.

And if you aren’t Shu, be sure to hop over to MassDrop. You can still buy your favorite model. Not as awesome as winning one but you get more options for color and materials. Am I right?

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