Eye Candy: Eraser and Pencil Accessory Case

Eye Candy: Eraser and Pencil Accessory Case

My pencil problem has an equal rival: the pencil accessories problem. To accompany my pencils, I have pencil point protectors, erasers, sharpeners, and leads for mechanical pencils. The accessory collection has grown to such proportions that it warranted its own organizational system.

I use an old military green metal box with divided compartments that keep leads in a section, point protectors in another section, erasers in another and so on.  It’s not exactly efficient organization at the moment but at least I can see where everything is. Sharpeners still live in a divided section in a drawer because they take up a ton of space. There is a small lead point in the case as it goes along with the leads more than regular wood-and-graphite sharpeners.

My favorite lead refill is this vintage Mikado red lead refill. RED!  So, for all the ink refills I have… I have an equal number of pencil refills should my reputation for being ill-prepared ever come into question.

Girl Scout ’til I die.

News: Pen Shows, Meet-Ups and More

Pelikan Ink of the Year

Finally unveiled! The Pelikan Edelstein 2018 Ink of the Year is Olivine. The Pelikan’s Perch has a survey about what color trim people are hoping will be on the accompanying M20X pen that will be released to match.

Membership has its Privileges

If you are not a member of the Karas Pen Club yet, hop to it. The Club is accessible by purchasing the Karas Pen Club Coin. It gets you access the new releases before everyone else like the special Decograph pens which are limited.  There are other perks too and you can find out all about it on their site but let’s just say there’s a new Decograph coming you might want to know about…

And speaking of Club Coins, The Pen Addict just announced a new MemberChip Club Coin. Details will be unveiled soon.

Vanness Meet-Up

If you live in the Dallas area, Lisa Vanness will be meeting up with other “pen pals” Kay’s on North Stemmons Freeway, Sunday evening January 21 at 6:30 pm.

Upcoming Pen Show News

Just weeks away is the LA Pen Show! This year will be my first trip to the LA Show which I’ve heard from many is a mixed blessing. Apparently the hotel has had some renovation done which may or may not be completed by the time we get there. Those of you who were at the SF Pen Show in 2017 may remember the trailer parked out front and the somewhat iffy restaurant service as a result of the renovations that occurred there so, I am prepared for dodgy hotel service. I’m packing granola bars. But I’m looking forward to meeting new friends and seeing familiar faces as well. I am not scheduled to help out (yet) but that can always change at a moment’s notice. So, if you see me wandering around the show floor, please come and say hello. This will also be Laura’s first pen show and she is very excited to meet people she’s chatted with online so do come and say hello.

The Baltimore Pen Show is just around the corner and many of our sponsors and friends will be in attendance. Brad and NockCo will be in attendance. Anderson Pens and Vanness Pens will both be there with inks galore. I, unfortunately, will not be able to attend. So take lots of photos and tag them on Instagram so I can live vicariously.

New Aurora Pens

Photo from Fontoplumo

Aurora continues to roll out its array of colors in the limited edition 88 line. The newest edition is the red edition, the Marte, named after the red planet Mars. The Aurora 88 Marte (€ 720/ € 595,04 Outside EU) follows last year’s golden yellow Sole and midnight Nebulosa. All three have been made from auroloid and have rose gold finish and 18c rose gold nib. The Marte is also limited to 888 pieces.

Aurora has also introduced new colors in its Optima Flex line. Each is limited to just 300 pieces and the new Optima Flex Violet (€550 /€ 454,55 Outside EU) is calling my name. There is also a Blue, Green, Light Blue, Grey, Red, and Yellow. All of these are limited to just 300 and no poop Brown this time. Which color is your favorite and are you inclined to try an Aurora Flex nib this year?

Fountain Pen Review: Wing Sung 618 Demonstrator

Fountain Pen Review: Wing Sung 618 Demonstrator

I don’t know what’s gotten into me lately but I think I was inspired to buy another cheap Chinese fountain pen from a photo on Economical Penster’s Instagram. All those demonstrators lined up made me weak. So I hopped over to Ebay and I bought a clear demonstrator Wing Sung 618 (approx $10.70) which is a weird attempt to copy the beloved Parker 51. I also bought a version in a pastel pink but it’s staying in the packaging because it turned out to be even more difficult to use as I’ll explain later.

Both pens came in the same packaging. Does it look familiar? It is a direct knock-off of the Lamy packaging for the Safari pens. They even clip the caps to the insert card inside just like Lamy. The diecut windows are the same as Lamy too. Weird to put a Parker 51 in a Lamy Safari box. Makes my head spin. I will deposit the box in the nearest recycling bin and we can move on.

Since there were probably few true Parker 51 demonstrators, its doubtful anyone would ever mistake this pen for a true vintage classic but the hooded nib is not something often found on modern pens and for less than $15, it was a gamble I was willing to take. I have a Wing Sung 698 that I love because I’m pretty sure the nib is a Pilot steel nib and its buttery smooth so I was willing to gamble on another Wing Sung pen on the chances that another pen would also have a super smooth nib.

The 618 also has a plunger/piston filling mechanism that is a bit janky and this is where the demonstrator model comes in handy over the solid colored plastic version. Being able to see how far I’d pulled the plunger and how much ink I’d filled was really helpful. The solid plastic was really hard to tell if I’d gotten any ink in the pen and it was possible to completely pull the plunger out of the back of the pen hence allowing the ink to leak (or flood) out the back end. The demonstrator allowed considerably more control since I could see how far I’d pulled the piston out without any unfortunate accidents. For -$15, I can’t complain too much.

The ink capacity is pretty substantial too though it took me awhile to make sure I got the mechanism properly reseated. The Wing Sung 698 is much easier to reseat and even has a bit of a locking mechanism that I think is an improvement over the actual TWSBI 580 it was aping.

The nib is fine and as smooth as I was hoping. Being able to see the ink color is also kind of cool.

As for knocking off Parker… well, I don’t quite understand the Chinese mentality behind taking design elements from other brands and using them as your own. You can either live with this or you can’t. The nib on this pen is so smooth that I am overlooking the blatant copyright infringement. I would MUCH prefer that they did something else with the clip.  The cap band is not true to a Parker 51 so they are not trying to emulate or convince anyone that this is a real NOS Parker so I don’t see why they bother with the clip? Do your own clip. If you want something that feels reminiscent of the time period, that’s fine but make it your own. I digress. I knew what I was getting into when I bought it. And the clip works just fine. I just feel a little dirty when I use it.

As for the hooded nib, other brands made hooded nibs though clearly the 618 is trying to replicate the Parker 51 and its other hooded pen designs as well. Since other pen manufacturers made hooded nibs in the 60s, I’m more inclined to overlook it had it been the only retro design element. But again, I digress. The actual nib is smooth and a little springy and a delight to write with just like the Wing Sung 698 (TWSBI 580 replica with Pilot nib).

So, all-in-all, despite being a blatant knock-off  of a Parker 51, the Wing Sung 618 did have the decency to choose a pen with perfect cigar lines to mimic. The cap band is a little beefy for the rest of the pen and the piston is janky but the nib more than makes up for its faults at it’s sub-$20 price. I’m on the fence as to whether I’d recommend the 618 or the 698 first if someone was looking for an inexpensive Chinese pen. For the filling mechanism, I’d go with the 698 but for looks, I like the 618 better.

Link Love: Leftover Love

This week I have a few posts I forgot to include in previous weeks. You may have already seen these elsewhere but, if not, I wanted to bring them to your attention.

And know that I try to keep Art Supply Posse alive in my own little way with my Art & Art Supply links. If you’re looking for some creative inspiration and enjoy those, please let me know in the comments, okay? Thanks!

Posts that Almost Got Away:

Pens

Ink:

Pencils:

Paper & Notebooks:

Art & Art Supplies:

Other Interesting Stuff:

Preview: Baron Fig Lock & Key (Squire & Confidant Set)

Preview: Baron Fig Lock & Key (Squire & Confidant Set)

When it comes to a themed set, after the Back to School Set, I didn’t think Baron Fig could top themselves again so soon. But their latest release, the Lock & Key Squire and Confidant Set ($77)  is a fabulous pairing. The Lock Confidant notebook ($20 if purchased separately) is a deep, forest green, linen cover debossed with a maze pattern with a key design in the center. The ribbon bookmark is a mellow, yellow-gold color.

The endpapers are foil stamped in gold with maze designs and symbols on warm white paper.

Inside is the same warm white stock we’ve grown to love with the popular, light grey dot grid as well.

Key Squire pen ($65 if purchased separately) comes in a matching, deep green tube printed with a decoder for the symbols printed on the endpapers on the Confidant. Should someone take time to solve puzzles in the maze, the fine folks at Baron Fig suggest there may be prizes…!?!?

But the real wow moment is seeing the new Key Squire and holding it your hand. The Key Squire is made of brass and weighs in at  a whopping 50gms! The original Squire pens in aluminum weigh 22gms. That’s a considerable difference!

The etched key is lovely and the metaphor that the pen unlocks possibility and creativity and that the lock is the paper is perfect. Is it time for you to take the first step on your next adventure?


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.

Pen Review: Uni Signo DX 0.38 – 2017 Colors

Pen Review: Uni Signo DX 0.38 – 2017 Colors

It’s been awhile since I’ve reviewed any gel pens or standard non-fountain pens so I thought it was about time to delve back into some of the basics. Uni-ball introduced a range of new colors in their much-loved Signo DX line. I went ahead and got all 12 new colors ($34). These new colors are only available in the 0.38 size and not in the smaller 0.28 or the larger 0.5 size. This works out fine for me because the 0.38 size is my favorite.

The Signo DX pens are the traditional capped pen with a silicone grip section with a conical tip. The clip is plastic and not super sturdy but does at as a roll stop.

It seemed appropriate to test these pens on Leuchtturm1917 paper as they seem to be one of the most commonly used notebooks for Bullet Journals and the Signo DX pens seem a great choice for color coding for notes and list making.

Of the colors in the set, the Beige is the least usable. It did not show up at all on the ivory colored paper. I tested it on dark paper and it didn’t show up either. The Yellow was actually quite readable for a yellow but would probably show up better on a brighter white. The Apple Green is a little lighter than I hoped it would be but I like the color. All the other colors: Grey, Dark Grey, Purple, Lilac, Prussian Blue, Blue Green, Khaki, Brown, and Light Pink are all totally usable and wonderful colors. They actually all remind me of some of the best colors from Marvy LePens, especially the Prussian Blue, the greys and the browns. Yeah!

I turned the page over to show any show through which you can see is pretty minimal.

I used a Col-o-ring card to swatch the colors as well to show the colors on true white as well so you could see the Yellow and how pale the Beige is.

So, while I might not recommend getting the full 12-color set, there are some great colors in the set. I love the Prussian Blue, the Blue Green, the Khaki, the Light Pink and the greys — both the light Grey and the Dark Grey. It’s always nice to have some gel pens in your arsenal and its nice to have some fun colors.


TOOLS


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.