Podcast: Art Supply Posse Episode 5

Woot! Episode 5 of Art Supply Posse is live and we are getting better. Heather got it edited and posted by noon today!

This week is part two in our on-going series on markers. We discuss brush pens — the whys, the types and the what-fors — plus Heather gets her first “big girl” pan watercolor set and we try to figure out the difference between pigment, dye and ink.

Enjoy! And now you can leave comments on the Art Supply Posse site too! Don’t forget to jam out to our new theme song.

Link Love: The One with All the Barons

Link artwork by Chris Grine, illustrator of the web comic Wicked Crispy.
Link artwork by Chris Grine, illustrator of the web comic Wicked Crispy.




Paper and Notebooks:

Planners & Organizers:

Other Interesting Things:

One Book July Challenge

Midori MD Notebook cover

This year, I’ve decided to try the One Book July challenge. The purpose of the challenge is to use one book for planning, journaling or whatever for the entire month of July. I heard about the challenge last year but it was well after July so I put it on my calendar for this year. I wanted a chance to pick one book and focus on my system rather than the book for a change. Originally, it was set up to be a one book and one pen challenge but, in watching the videos and following along, the challenge is flexible to challenge yourself to find way to simplify your personal planning system, journaling or whatever will help you to personally find a way to streamline.

Midori MD Notebook Pen and Pencil Tests

In order to make this work, I wanted to find a book that was clean and  simple but with good paper so I chose the Midori MD with blank pages.  I knew it had good quality paper but was won over by the complete lack of ornamentation. The cover of the book is plain ivory cardstock that matches the thick, smooth ivory paper inside. I printed out guide sheets in both grid and lined to use with it and decided I’d try the Bullet Journal system that would let me plan, list, journal or do whatever — all in one book. I’ve never really figured out how to use the Bullet Journal system before so this has been a bit of an adventure for me and I’ve done a lot of research to figure out how to best utilize it for myself. Basically, I ended up having to watch Ryder Carroll’s video about ten times and then just jumping in with both feet and hoping for the best. I’m using the book for my planning, notetaking and as my logbook.

The only thing this book can’t handle is a lot of water media like watercolor so it wasn’t up to doubling as a full-blown sketchbook. Since I also want to participate in the World Watercolor Month project, I’m allowing myself a second book — one sketchbook to use specifically for this project. I haven’t chosen which specific sketchbook I’ll use but I have a couple more days to decide.

For me, my biggest issue was to stop carrying around FIVE or SIX notebooks and planners at one time and reduce down to just two books is a huge reduction. Along with this, I pared down my daily carry to a smaller zipper pouch, carrying a reduced selection of colored pencils, a mechanical pencil, a few felt tip pen, a  brush pen, a couple fountain pens and a small set of watercolors and a travel brush plus a back-up waterbrush, which is considerable downsizing from the 100 Pen Case.

Midori MD Notebook Monthly Bullet Journal

The goal of this project is to focus more on making this month with what I have rather than wasting time trying to decide which tool I should use. I’m looking forward to spending a month focusing on content and filling notebooks.

For more information about One Book July, check out the videos posted by Rhomany and Carie Harling, two of the hosts for the online challenge this year.

Note: This challenge will not affect product reviews. I will continue to review notebooks, pens and other products throughout the month but my personal planning and notetaking will all take place in the Midori MD. I will try to do a couple updates throughout the month to update how I’m doing in the challenge as well.


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.

Ask The Desk: Anything Goes!


Judith asks:

Will you be attending the DC Pen Show in August?

Judith, I’m delighted to say that YES! I will be attending the DC SuperShow in August. I’ve already purchased my plane tickets and Lisa from Vanness Pens has graciously offered to let me help out in their booth again after Chicago so I guess I did okay. So, if you are looking for me, I’ll be the pink hair behind the Vanness table during the day and the exhausted pink-haired girl at the bar after hours.

Samantha asks:

Any leads on where to find stylish, high-quality customized pencils?

Is that leads or leads? Was the pun intentional? I suspect it was… Anyway…I was under the impression that Pencils.com offered custom Blackwings but I could not find a link on their site. They do have a section of custom pencils but do not provide much information to the overall quality of these pencils though I am sure you can email to ask about options.

Dixon also has a promotional section on their site for custom Ticonderogas and the like. These aren’t the best pencils but better than completely no-name options.

Finally, CW Pencil Enterprise offers a very simple, gold foil stamped Musgrave pencil created by hand on their vintage Kingsley Hoil Foil Machine. Only one font choice but its pretty nice. There’s no minimum order and there’s more details about costing on their site.

Depending on quantity, the possibility exists that someone somewhere would be willing to work with you. Does anyone else have recommendations for good quality custom pencils?

Berta asks the baffling question:

Do the holes on an A5 sheet match up with the holes on a Franklin Covey Classic sheet? AKA, will A5 inserts fit in a Franklin Covey Classic planner?

If I read your question correctly, I have some unfortunate news. The A5 Sheets used in a traditional Filofax have only 6 holes while the larger Franklin Covey sheets have 7 holes. And they do not align at all.

Philofaxy did a great post with a photo to show how much the holes do not align.

Charles warns:

Oh No Ana, you have made my craving into a full blown addiction! What am I to? And here I thought it was just an innocent little twinge of ” ooh, I want that, and that, and if I get this I must have that.” Is there any hope? I may have to seek professional help.
You have many links. Do you have one that can help me?

PS : this has been a joke! Had it been an actual plea, you would have been redirected to…

Where? There’s a cure? If so, I need it too!

Do you have a pressing pen, ink or paper question for The Desk? Use the link in the header “Ask the Desk” and send me a question and I’ll try to find an answer for you and post it in the next edition of Ask The Desk.

Giveaway Winners: Baron Fig Vanguards

Baron Fig Vangaurd

Thanks to everyone who entered to win one of the three Baron Fig Vanguard notebook sets that I have to giveaway. Here are the winners as selected by the handy-dandy Random Number Generator:

Screen Shot 2016-06-25 at 11.39.30 AM Screen Shot 2016-06-25 at 11.39.43 AMScreen Shot 2016-06-25 at 11.37.18 AM Screen Shot 2016-06-25 at 11.42.11 AM Screen Shot 2016-06-25 at 11.43.12 AM  Screen Shot 2016-06-25 at 11.38.45 AM

Anissa called the Dot Grid so it seems like fate. Carla and Ida get to choose between the Flagship Ruled and the Pocket Blank. I’ll email you all to arrange shipping and see what they chose. Thanks again to everyone who entered and a big thanks to Baron Fig for providing the products for this giveaway.


Fashionable Friday: Maker Faire Edition


This weekend is all Arduinos and robots, steampunk and makers of all kinds as we head out for the Kansas City Maker Faire. So I decided to keep with the theme for Fashionable Friday this week and include things that were either aesthetically maker-y or made by small shops. Some stuff is tech-y and some are small batch. There was so much to choose from that I could have gone on all day. I hope you enjoy my selections this week.

  • Retro 51 Tornado LE Terabyte, Anderson Pens Exclusive $40 (via Anderson Pens)
  • Midori Black Leather Traveler’s Notebook Starter Kit in Passport Size $41 (via JetPens)
  • J Herbin Marbleized Glass Dip Pen in Marbelized Blue $25.20 (via Pen Chalet)
  • Moleskine Smart Writing Set $199 (via Moleskine)
  • Trusco Ridged Tool Box $30 (via Fresh Stock Japan)
  • Skull and Crossbones Wax Seal Stamp $29.95AUD (via Kustom Haus)
  • Retro 51 Slim Electron Edition $30 (via Pen Boutique)*
  • TWSBI Eco white fountain pen €35 (via Fontoplumo)
  • The Bolt $65 (via Karas Kustoms)
  • Organics Studio Accident Pigmented Aqua Blue Ink 55ml bottle $16 (via Vanness Pen Shop)
  • CW&T Pen Type-A $160 (via JetPens)
  • Paperblanks Midi Lined Journal in Old Leather Classic Viridian $16.95 (via Anderson Pens)
  • Monteverde One Touch Stylus Tool 0.9mm Pencil in Red $31.95 (via Goldspot Pens)
  • “Frakkin’ Toasters” Nail Polish Mini Bottle $5.50 (via Dollish Polish)

*Check out the video that Pen Boutique put together that shows all the Slim edition Retro 51s they currently have in stock. (And a sneak peek of Trista’s cool tattoo!)


Podcast: Art Supply Posse Ep. 4 You So Fine(liner)

Marvy Le Pen Array

This week we cover a fair bit of follow-up, our first #askasp questions, and the first part of our multi-part series on markers, starting with fineliners. And we got a theme song!

Listen and download the whole episode at ArtSupplyPosse subscribe to the podcast via iTunes (or your favorite podcast catcher) Be sure to leave a review on iTunes as it helps other people find it.

Post your questions to #askASP on Twitter or send your questions and comments to hello@artsupplyposse.com.

Link Love: Have (Traveler’s) Notebooks Will Travel

Awesome new Link artwork by Chris Grine, illustrator of the web comic Wicked Crispy.
Artwork by Chris Grine, illustrator of the web comic Wicked Crispy.




Notebooks & Paper:

Planners & Organizers:

Other Interesting Stuff:

Ink Review: Callifolio Bleu Equinoxe 5 (and a Happy Ending)

Parker Duofold

First, I wanted to take a chance to thank the kindness of the pen community for rescuing my Parker Duofold from its sad state. Susan Wirth, “queen of pen shows” that she is, offered to repair my Parker Duofold for me before she jetted off to New York for a Guggenheim retrospective and she did a beautiful job. Not only was she able to remove the damaged section of the body of my Duofold but, she was also able to restore the sac and filler so now it holds ink! So, I was able to use my beloved little pen for this ink review. It has the smoothest gold nib with just a little flex so its just such fun to use. And now that it holds ink and isn’t all distorted like a silly straw, I can use it on a daily basis. Thank you, Susan for bringing my little jewel back to life and restoring my faith in the pen community, though I never doubted you for a second!

If you ever have a chance to meet Susan Wirth and her colleagues at a pen show, I highly recommend stopping by and saying hello. She has a lovely collection of pens available to try and purchase and many fascinating stories about the history of pens.

Now, on to the ink review…

Callifolio Equinoxe 5

With every blue black ink I try, I think to myself, “do I really need another blue black ink?” Then I start using it, looking more closely at the subtle differences of the colors and I realize that yes, I really do need one more shade. Because, like lipsticks and nail polish, every shade of ink ever-so-slightly different. And Callifolio Bleu Equinoxe 5 (40ml for $12, 50ml pouch for $8 and sample for $1.25) is no different. Their shade of blue black is ever-so-much-more royal in its blue tone with a red sheen. Oh, the sheen is lovely!

I smudged my header only because it is like a million degrees here in the Midwest with about 100% humidity so all dry times have slowed to a crawl. I don’t think it would be fair to blame it entirely on the ink, I was laying it on thick with a paint brush and then, of course, I’m a lefty with a tendency to lay my arm in my ink almost immediately.

Callifolio Equinoxe 5

Equinoxe 5 is not waterproof or even water resistant but it also means it should be pretty easy to clean up. That made me feel safe putting it in my vintage pen, at least for a week.

The great thing about Callifolio ink beyond the lovely color, shading and sheen is that ink is incredibly, reasonably priced. A 50ml pouch is just $8. The contents can be transferred into an empty bottle for easy access.

Callifolio Equinoxe

I pulled some other deep blue/blue black inks from the sample rings and Equinoxe 5 is clearly more royal blue  than the others in my stash though it does have a sheen similar to Sheaffer Blue Black and the Sailor Bung Box Blue Black. Pricewise, Equinoxe 5 is definitely closer to Sheaffer than Bung Box so if you were looking for an ink that gave you the same oomph for a whole lot less dollars than importing Bung Box, a bottle or pouch of Callifolio may be the way to go.

And remember, Vanness can also sell you an empty ink bottle and laser etch it with your name or a logo if you want to purchase a pouch instead of a bottle.

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

Review: Baron Fig Vanguard

Baron Fig Vanguard

Baron Fig continues to expand their line of products. This time with a soft cover cahier-style notebook they are calling the Vanguard. They are offering it in an A5 size (Flagship) as well as their smaller passport (Pocket) size in blank, dot grid or graph paper formats. There’s also a “plus” size which is 7×10″. The Vanguard is available with a light grey or dark grey cover. Each book is actually stitched along the spine with bright yellow thread which aesthetically lovely.

The lightly textured cardstock covers are clean, simple and elegant. And the overall lack of a lot of branding is most appreciated. The books are clean and simple and ready for the user to put their stamp on them which I like.

Baron Fig Vanguard

It’s been awhile since I’d used a Baron Fig notebook so I decided to run the new notebook through its paces to see if the paper stock was the same a the previous Confidant notebooks.

Baron Fig Vanguard Colored Pencil test

My first experiment with the Vanguard was to try some colored pencils. I pulled out my trusty Prismacolor Premier (and its brethren) and draw a fig. Of course.  I quite like the Baron Fig paper for colored pencil. Really, any kind of pencil works well on Baron Fig paper. Its quite smooth with just a little tooth and the warm white color is quite conducive to pencil sketching and colored pencils. Maybe a good candidate for a red/blue pencil?

Baron Fig Vanguard writing sample

I’d recalled that there was some issues with the Baron Fig paper and liquid inks like rollerball, fountain pens and such. What I noticed most particularly was that most of my felt tip pens seemed broader on the Baron Fig paper than on other paper. As if it sort of spread a bit. It didn’t look like it feathered per se but the ink must have absorbed a bit more than I remembered.

The Sakura Ballsign 04 in black was, by far, the best performing pen on the paper. It dried super-fast, jet black and matte without any bleeding or feathering. If you haven’t tried the Ballsign and want to try the Baron Fig Vanguard, its a great combo. In general, most gel pens work well on the Vanguard paper, more so, I think, than rollerball and felt tip pens which is a bit of a disappointment for me. I tend to use a lot of felt tip pens but I like a super fine point.

The fountain pen issue with Baron Fig paper has been discussed extensively elsewhere so I won’t delve into it but, like most pocketable notebooks (and for most of the modern world), its not something that they concern themselves with. Its just our small corner of the world that gets in a tizzy when every notebook we pick up doesn’t accept our wide stub fountain pen inks with open arms, no bleed through and instantaneous dry times.

I forgot to photograph the reverse of stock this time but I noticed a bit more bleed through this time around than in my previous tests on the Confidant lined and dot grid. I don’t know if it was because the blank paper had not been run through any printing presses and therefore had no sizing of any kind and therefore was more absorbent, if there is a slight difference to this batch of paper or if its because it was warmer and more humid during my testing or if some other factors were at play.

Overall, I plan to use my Vanguard as a colored pencil sketchbook with some notes and put my massive collection of Sakura Ballsign gel pens to good use.

Baron Fig Vanguard

THE GIVEAWAY: Would you like to try out a Baron Fig Vanguard 3-pack of your own? I have THREE (3) sets to give away. I have a Flagship dot grid, Flagship ruled and a Pocket blank.

TO ENTER: All you have to do is leave a comment below and tell me if you’ve ever tried a Baron Fig notebook before. If so, which one? If not, which one you like best, whether its one I’m giving away or another one. That’s it.

Baron Fig Vanguard

THE FINE PRINT: All entries must be submitted by 10pm CST on Friday, June 24, 2016. All entries must be submitted at wellappointeddesk.com, not Twitter, Tumblr or Facebook, okay? Winner will be announced on Saturday. Winner will be selected by random number generator from entries that played by the rules (see above). Please include your email real address in the comment form so that I can contact you if you win, not some junky account you never check. 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 via USPS first class is covered. 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 APOs only please this time. It would cost more to mail these overseas than the notebooks cost.

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.



Video: Goulet Pens Spotlight Video on ME!

Are you sick of hearing my voice yet this week? If not, then you might want to check out this video that Goulet Pens recorded in Atlanta at the Atlanta Pen Show in April. They did a very nice interview with me for their Spotlight series. I was so nervous but Brian was so kind, as was the whole Goulet team. We had a great time and I am so flattered that they would want to do a video with little ol’ me.

Fashionable Friday: The Wood Anniversary


Did you know that the modern anniversary gift for the sixth anniversary is wood? Did you know that today is the sixth anniversary of The Well-Appointed Desk? To celebrate, I put together the best wood-centric desk accessories and other goodies I could find to celebrate. I hope you enjoy them!

  • Lamy Accent fountain pen in deepred wood (2015 special edition) €65 (via Fontoplumo)
  • Butler Pen Pot in Walnut $38 (via Fresh Stock Japan)
  • Delta Seawood Fountain Pen in Light $197.50 (via Pen Chalet)
  • E+M Peanpole Wood Pencil Extender in Mahogany $5.75 (via JetPens)
  • Caran d’Ache Limited Edition Swiss Wood Pencil Gift Set $26 (via Anderson Pens)
  • Field Notes in Cherry Wood 3-Pack for $9.95 (via Goldspot Pens)
  • J. Herbin La Perle des Encres Wooden Box Set $38 (via Goldspot Pens)
  • KA Bamboo Ruler – 30 cm $5 (via Fresh Stock Japan)
  • Faber-Castell Pearwood Barrel Black E-motion Mechanical pencil $60 (via Pen Boutique)
  • ruits and Ladders Necklace $14.99 (via Modcloth)
  • Sailor Kabazaiku Fountain Pen in Cherry Bark with Medium Nib $392 (via Anderson Pens)
  • Retro 1951 “Deluxe” Bamboo $36 (via Vanness Pen Shop)
  • Diamine Autumn Oak $15 (via Vanness Pen Shop)
  • The Planter $60 (via Dudek Modern Goods)
  • China Glaze Nail Lacquer in Wood You Wanna $3.89 (via WalMart)
  • J. Herbin Rocker Style Wooden Ink Blotter $29 (via JetPens)

Podcast: Art Supply Posse Episode 3 Gettin’ Schooled (and Erasable 54)


You’ve got, not one but, two chances to hear my voice this week! The fine fellows over at Erasable asked me to stop in and talk about erasers while Tim was off watching the Cubs*.

Plus, the latest episode of Art Supply Posse is live. Heather and I both enrolled in our first Sketchbook Skool classes and talk about online classes and making art a habit. Give it a listen and let us know what you think. Have you ever taken an online class?

And, my good buds Myke and Brad said some nice things about Art Supply Posse on the new episode of Pen Addict. Its just been a big ol’ love fest this week. Y’all are making me all weepy!

So, if you haven’t already subscribed, you will have lots to listen to this weekend… an overload of pen-and-pencil goodness!

*I think he’s secretly avoiding me… or are we actually the same person? Seriously, Tim was out sick and frantically packing for a big move. Hopefully the move goes well and he’s not dying in the sweltering heat. Hang in there!

Link Love: Frank & June

Awesome new Link artwork by Chris Grine, illustrator of the web comic Wicked Crispy.
Awesome new Link artwork by Chris Grine, illustrator of the web comic Wicked Crispy.




Paper & Notebooks:

Planners & Organizers:

Art Supplies:

Other Interesting Things:

June Thomas of Slate talking about breakfast and her love of Japanese stationery, pencils and Field Notes.

Shameless Self-Promotion:

Shoutouts to Chris Purcell and Julia Skott for the tips this week!

Paper Review: Life Noble Report A4 Plain

Life Noble Report Plain A4

While I was in Atlanta, my darling friend Leigh gave me a pile of goodies including this fabulous paper pad: the Life Noble Report Plain A4. It has 100 sheets of cream paper which I just love. The paper is not quite as smooth as the Apica Premium paper in the C.D. Notebook but its awfully close. But somehow, it behaved much better with fountain pens, or maybe my expectations were different with a large writing pad?

Life Noble Report Plain A4

Some inks did take a bit of time to dry like in my title where I smeared. Why do I always do that? Is it me, the ink or the paper or all of the above?

In general though, all my pens performed well and  there was no feathering or bleeding. This paper would be great for pen testing, calligraphy practice or letter writing.

Life Noble Report Plain A4 reverse of writing sample

From the reverse of stock, you can see some of the writing but there was no actual bleed through. The cream paper, however, does not make it a good candidate for ink testing for me because I prefer to test inks on bright white paper to get a true idea of the colors. The warm ivory might skew an ink color slightly which is fine for everyday writing but for my review purposes.

I’ve also considered folding some of the paper into A5 sheets for my Chic Sparrow Black Beauty Traveler’s Notebook. Oooo la la!

A similar item to this pad would be the Noble Note Plain A4 ($35) from Anderson Pens which is the same 85g cream paper just bound along the long edge instead of being bound at the top. Anderson is carrying a whole selection of Life brand stationery including smaller sizes as well as lined and grid.

A shout out to Leigh for the gift!

Borden & Riley Mini Sketchbook Review

Borden & Riley Mini Sketchbook Pads

After doing the Art Supply Posse podcast last week about sketchbooks, I stumbled into my local art store, Artist’s and Craftsman, and found the smallest spiral sketchbook samplers so I grabbed all the varieties that had in stock to try out. Borden & Riley makes my beloved-but-discontinued favorite 100% Cotton Rag Rough Marker Paper that we used for lettering so I was interested in trying out some of their other papers. I picked up the #880 Royal Sketchbook($3.84), #234 Paris Paper for Pens ($2.33) and #15 Tuppence Sketch Bond ($2.33, size not shown on web site). Each book was spiral bound at the top of its diminutive 2.5×3.5″ size. The Royal Sketchbook (90lb) and Paris Paper for Pens  (108lb) had 20 sheet and the Tuppence Sketch(70lb) included 50 sheets.

Borden & Riley Sketchbook test tools

For each paper test, I used the same assortment of pens, pencils and markers on each paper to get a comparison to how they performed and then did a doodle specific to the type of paper. Let’s go!

Borden & Riley Royal Sketchbook

The Royal Sketchbook was the book I had the most hope for because it had thick, creamy stock with some texture to it. The paper was warm white, almost ivory and reminded me immediately of the many multi-media sketchbooks I’ve tried like the Canson XL mixed media, the Strathmore mixed media and the Stillman & Birn Alpha paper. I immediately wanted this paper in a larger format. It was worth the $3.84 test to determine I wanted more of this paper.

Borden & Riley Paper For Pens

I’d always heard mention of the Paris Paper for Pens as a good option for calligraphy, dip pens, lettering and such so I was definitely interested in seeing how this paper felt. Its a very smooth, bright white stock. Its touted as being bleed-proof and I got no show through on the back of the stock except with the teal blue Spectra Marker which is an alcohol marker like a Copic. So, I wouldn’t recommend this paper for Copic-style marker drawings but it held pen, fountain pen and flex nib line work cleanly. The smoothness of the stock was really interesting too. I look forward to experimenting with it more and trying a variety of brush pens. I Was able to add some water to my watercolor marker color  and pencil but it did not move as easily as it did on the Royal Sketchbook paper. It did create some interesting effects though.

Borden & Riley Paper For Pens

These were some additional fountain pen tests on the Paris Paper for Pens. Some standard writing with a fine nib Franklin Christoph as well as some flex writing with my Waterman.

Borden & Riley Tuppence Sketchbook

And the last book I tried was the Tuppence Sketch which had the lightest weight paper. Once I’d tried the other two, I knew that the Tuppence was definitely the budget/dry media paper of the three. The grey PITT brush lines showed through a bit to the back and even some of the black pen from the “#” was starting to show through so this is definitely lightweight budget paper. The watercolor pencil did not move at all and the paper started to warp when water was added. When I did the larger sketch, I started to give up because the W&N watercolor brush markers didn’t move as smoothly as they do on more receptive paper so I kept adding more water which just made the paper buckle and the show through on the back is really bad. I pretty much abandoned the drawing at that point. Were I more inclined to do straight pencil sketches, I think this paper would be just fine. There’s a nice tooth to it — not so much that it will chew up your pencils but enough to hold some pigment and color. I might go back and try some colored pencil and graphite drawings on this paper to give it a second chance but I tend to prefer paper that can take at least a little bit of water media.

Borden & Riley is not one of the larger artist paper producers but they make good products so its worth checking with your local art supply shop to see if they carry them. I’m hoping that Artist & Craftsman will get a wider selection of their products in stock soon. I’d love to have a full sized Royal Sketchbook and a goodly-sized Paris Paper for Pens pad to use as well. Can never have too much paper, right?




Pen Review: Edison Collier LE 2015 with Custom Architect Nib

Edison Collier LE 2015

As a nice comparison to the stock Edison Nouveau Premiere that I took for a test drive yesterday, it seemed appropriate to show you the Edison Collier with the custom architect nib ground by Dan Smith over at Nibsmith. The pen started its life with a broad nib and was then customized.

I’m amused I didn’t figure out it was an architect grind until Kasey told me. I kept thinking… “This doesn’t look like a broad nib. Its much too crisp.” Well, duh. It wrote beautifully, if a bit too broadly, for my small writing but the grind is very well done.

Edison Collier LE 2015 Writing Sample

Physically, the Collier is very different from the Nouveau Premiere pen. The barrel is wider and the overall shape is more cigar shaped with a wider, rounder appearance overall. IT balances the size of the nib much better than the Nouveau Premiere. Its also a deep mahogany swirl with black to the candy-color of the water lily Nouveau Premiere.

The nib is two-toned gold and silver and the clip is gold compared to the all-silver hardware of the Premiere. These two pens couldn’t be more different than apples to steaks.

Weight-wise, the Collier is a good 10 grams heavier at 28 grams, capped and filled with the converter, but its well-weighted and comfortable so even in my small hands, I didn’t notice the additional weight. I actually had to put it on a scale to verify that it was heavier than the Premiere.

Edison Collier LE 2015

Overall, the broad architect grind on this crunchy cigar-shaped and deep, richly colored pen is totally appropriate. I would probably name this pen El Comandante if I owned it and write with it while drinking mojitos and listening to salsa music.

This is another pen that’s convinced me to take a good long look at Edison Pens. While I wouldn’t normally have gravitated towards the Collier because its a larger pen, the lightweight acrylic resin kept it from feeling like I was trying to steer a ship, and the variety of colors that Edison uses is really amazing– from subtle browns, as shown with this Collier, to the candy bright with the Nouveau Premiere Water Lily.

Again, since this particular Edison Collier was a limited edition model from 2015, it is no longer available but other color options are available on the Goulet Pens site for $149 or you could check directly with the Edison Pens site to see what they have in stock or for a custom order.

This pen was loaned to me by Kasey, AKA Punkey, as a way to try out pens I might not otherwise purchase or be able to afford. Thank you very much. This is another reason why the pen community is so awesome!

Fashionable Friday: Hey Shawty! It’s Sherbet Day!


Feelin’ a little pun-y (and late to my own party!) on my birthday, as usual. Hope you get a bowl of ice cream or sherbet today, too. Strawberry is probably most appropriate, but all sherbet flavors are welcome — as are ice cream, gelato, popsicles and froze treats of all kinds.

  • Pink Lemonade Ombre Cake (via Pinterest)
  • Little Dreamer Nail Polish $15 (via 1898 House)
  • KWZ Grapefruit Ink (60ml bottle) $12 or $1.25 for sample (via Vanness Pens)
  • Hendrick’s and Rose Lemonade (via Pink Bow)
  • Visconti Michelangelo Venus rose fountain pen € 245 (via Fontoplumo)
  • Pilot FriXion Light Soft Color Erasable Highlighter in Soft Violet $1.65 (via JetPens)
  • Faber-Castell Ambition OpArt Aqua Ballpoint Pen $85 (via Pen Boutique)
  • Sailor Professional Gear Slim Series Fountain Pen in White Fine $156 (via Pen Chalet)
  • Simple Pastel Notebook $12.95 (via Mochi Things)
  • Diamine Beau Blue Ink (80 ml Bottle) $18 (via JetPens)
  • Royce Pen Accessories Pink Double Case $35.95 (via Goldspot Pens)
  • CDT A5 Notebook in pale green $18 (via Fresh Stock Japan)

Pen Review: Edison Nouveau Premiere Water Lily Spring 2016

Edison Nouveau Premiere Water Lily Spring 2016

The Edison Premiere Nouveau Water Lily is the Spring 2016 Limited Edition($149) for Goulet Pens and my first Edison fountain pen. Its one of the shapes in the Edison line-up that has always appealed to me so I was excited to have the opportunity to get this particular model. The long slender shape with bullet ends seemed like a very vintage shape but the colors of the acrylic resin material are pretty modern. The vivid pearlescent cerulean blue and pink swirls (AKA “clown vomit”) were an added bonus. I couldn’t resist filling the pen with an equally eye-popping Pilot Iroshizuku Kosumosu pink ink either. In for a penny…

Edison Nouveau Premiere Water Lily Spring 2016

The body has a lightly etched branding and the name of the pen and the limited edition information but is otherwise unbranded on the outside. The nib has the Edison light bulb logo etched on it as well as the stock swirls and the nib size.

The pen features all silver hardware and nib and I got an EF nib which ended up working really well with my miniature handwriting. In general, the overall look of the pen is clean and simple letting the colors of the acrylic resin steal the show. My only complaint about the pen is that the nib seems a little large for the slenderness of the the pen body. It seems a little disproportionate but that might just me. I’m used to vintage pens with smaller nibs overall.

Edison Nouveau Premiere Water Lily Spring 2016

Writing with the pen is quite comfortable and the pen shipped with a cartridge converter that had a generous capacity. The overall length of the pen did not require posting the cap and the pen was nicely balanced without the cap being posted. The cap can be posted if you choose to and its light enough not to throw off the balance.

The pen weighs 18gms capped and filled and is 6 inches long. Uncapped, it’s 5 inches and posted, its 6.75″.It weighs 11gms uncapped and filled.

Fountain Pen Weights

I’m sad to say that the Water Lily edition is sold out already but Goulet Pens does a special edition Edison every quarter so a summer edition should be released soon. I kick myself for missing some of the previous editions now so I won’t make that mistake again.

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

Notebook Review: Apica C.D. Notebook Premium A6

Apica C.D. Premium Notebook A6

I’ve always heard such good things about the paper quality of the Apica C.D. Premium Notebooks that I jumped at the chance to finally try the A6 blank notebook ($10.25). Its a small pocketable softcover with warm white pages and a slightly metallic graphite grey cover with a bookcloth taped spine. It has 96 pages and crisp square corners. It’s about a half an inch larger in height and width than a pocket-sized Moleskine if you’re not familiar with the A6 size.

Apica C.D. Premium Notebook A6 writing sample

Inside, the paper is a soft, warm white. Not ivory, just a natural white and silky smooth.I used the notebook on and off for a week before I felt like I oculd make an informed opinion about the notebook because I had some surprising results the first couple times I used it. I had heard that the Apica premium paper was awesome so I assumed my fountain pens would work great.

What I discovered was that, for me, it was too smooth for most of the fountain pens I use. The inks from fountain pens either took too long to dry or kind of bled a bit and softened around the edges. And the paper was so smooth that I felt like I was chasing the smooth nibbed fountain pens around on the paper. However, what I did like using on this paper were felt tip pens like Microns, the Sharpie Pen, brush-style felt tips or even a PaperMate Flair. The felt/fiber tips seemed to have just enough traction on the slick paper to make for a wonderful writing experience. Gel pens and rollerballs also did well on the paper too. The one fountain pen I did find that worked well was the Platinum Carbon Desk Pen so I suspect that other microfine fountain pens might also perform well.

I had decent results with colored pencil. I tested graphite after I photographed. Palomino Blackwing 602 smudged a bit because its so dark but a harder 2H Turquoise worked quite nicely. I think a standard HB or 2H pencil or a mechanical pencil on this paper would be a good match up as well.

Apica C.D. Premium Notebook A6 writing sample

Overall, once I got over my disappointment that this notebook wasn’t going to be THE notebook for fountain pens, I ended up really liking it. I really like the size, the soft cover and creamy paper. It creates a nice form-and-function arrangement that I really like.

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.

Link Love: Whole Lotta Notebooks Goin’ On

Awesome new Link artwork by Chris Grine, illustrator of the web comic Wicked Crispy.
Awesome new Link artwork by Chris Grine, illustrator of the web comic Wicked Crispy.




Notebooks & Paper:

Other Interesting Things:

Ink Review: Noodler’s Dostoyevsky

Noodler's Dostoyevsky

I got a sample of Noodler’s Dostoyevsky ink (19.50 for 30z bottle or $1.75 per sample) because I need more teal blue grey ink like I need a hole in my head. Right? But there was rationale here, folks. Several of the teal blue grey inks I own are limited edition inks like the Montblanc Meisterstück Blue Hour and Pelikan Edelstein Aquarmarine. As far as I know, Dostoyevsky is a regular ink color in the Noodler’s line-up not to mention considerably more affordable than either the Montblanc or the Pelikan Edelstein inks.  So, let’s talk about the overall quality.

Noodler's Dostoyevsky writing samples

The color has lots of shading and was relatively smooth performing. In my water test, it did not shift much which leads me to wonder if it might stain. Anderson Pens Ink Tool lists the ink as a permanent and waterproof ink so its definitely not an ink to be left in a vintage pen. My sample for the water test was not left to dry for more than a minute so it probably was not completely dry. But its good to know that this is a permanent ink. I may try it out in my Lamy Joy for drawing. It could prove interesting!

Noodler's Dostoyevsky comparison

I re-tested the waterproofiness several hours later with similar results to the water droplet test shown above so the ink isn’t PERMANENT permanent. There was definitely some color travel but it would definitely hold up well for a writer’s notebook but not enough to be used with watercolor for sketching purposes like Platinum Carbon Black.

Overall, I like the color and shading enough to consider Dostoyevsky as an option to replace the limited edition teal blue greys when they run out.

CJ helps with ink review

If you happen to ever see a stray hair in any of my reviews, this is why. I have helpers. Three furry ones and one of them always decides they need to sit on my review, my lap, my table, in the box or be pet at some point during my review process. Today, CJ looked so content it was hard to boot her off the review. Can you blame me?

Anderson Pens is a sponsor of this blog but I purchased this sample and all opinions are my own.

Art Supply Posse Episode 1: Let’s Talk About Sketchbooks, Baby