Link Love: Pencil Bouquets & Chicago Love

Link Love: Pencil Bouquets & Chicago Love




Paper & Notebooks:

Art & Art Supplies:

Letter Writing:

Other Interesting Things:

Kickstarter: Pen Community Projects — Current & Concluding

The pen community has been showered in great Kickstarter opportunities lately. We thought we would round up all the best and also follow-up on a few that are currently shipping.

Pay It Forward

Pay It Forward is the brain child of Oscar Rodriguez and his project to provide free pens, ink and notebooks to children and new pen enthusiasts at pen shows. In order to help continue to fund the project, he launched this Kickstarter recently. The enthusiasm to back it has been excellent and the backer rewards are great. Backers can receive a specially created ink by Papier Plume called Heart of Gold, a set of Story Supply notebooks and a recently added stretch goal option of Rickshaw Bags pen sleeves printed with the Pay It Forward logo printed on them. The Franklin-Christoph pen option went fast so that backer reward is no longer available sadly. I missed that completely.

Both Laura and I are backing this Kickstarter at the Ink & Notebook Level. We both backed before the Rickshaw Sleeves were added.

The Pen Addict RelayCon 2018

Its year four of RelayCon and Brad, Myke and I are ready to record live from Atlanta. But wait… that’s not all. This year, we want to do more! NockCo has a new case called the Tallulah and I designed enamel pins with our heads as backer extras. But wait… there’s even more! Brad and Myke want to take The Pen Addict on the road to New York to visit CW Pencils and then on to the Toronto Pen Show too! My fingers are crossed that they can kidnap me and take me across the border too! Let’s go big!

Laura is kindly backing this at the Vlog level because she does not want to wear my head. Can you blame her?

Elemental Notebooks

Using the table of elements as a jumping off point to create a series of notebooks, the Elemental Notebooks created four notebooks. The first four in the Kickstarter are Carbon (black), Hydrogen (light grey), Oxygen (blue) and Nitrogen (green). Each color will become available as the campaign hits a certain funding level. The paper is 100gsm and available in dot grid, lined or blank. The page edges are painted black with color details and the cloth spines are foil stamped with the table of elements information for each element. Backing starts at $20 and there is 30 days left in the campaign.

Laura and I went in together on one backing package for this Kickstarter.

Wancher Dream Pen

I reviewed the Wancher Dream Pen a couple weeks ago and since then, the Kickstarter has been going gangbusters. There are still two weeks left to back the project and many options including the Ebonite version as well as the True Urushi and the luxury True Maki-e.

Laura backed the True Urushi and since I have already have the True Urushi, I don’t need to have two.

DeNobil Fountain Pens

Just launched is the  DeNobil Fountain Pen.  While the brand itself did not include a video introducing its pens and brand to the world, they did include a review that Matt from The Pen Habit did of one of the pens offered as a backer reward. There are two fountain pen models — the 300 and the 400. The 300 is a cigar-shaped pen while the 400 is a flat-end design. I’d compare the 300 to a Sailor 1911 and the 400 to a Sailor ProGear in terms of shape. Then they are offering both models with clips as the 350 and 450 respectively. Both models are ebonite and like the Ford Model T are available in “whatever color you want, as long as you want black.”

DeNobil has a long way to go to reach its funding goal and but it sounds like their goal is to set-up their whole factroy with the funds from this Kickstarter so they have a lot riding on the outcome. Backing starts at $140 for one ebonite pen.

No one at The Desk has backed the project yet but we are keeping a close watch on this Kickstarter.

TiArto EDC

The TiArto EDC from BigiDesign is the newest iteration of their refill friendly pen design. This time the pen is modular sized and accepts 750 different refills. The Kickstarter backing is over but the pens have not been delivered yet so you can still get in on pre-order pricing. BigiDesign has fulfilled several previous Kickstarter projects and their pen designs continue to refine and innovate on their previous endeavours and the TiArto EDC is no different. If you have a favorite refill or six, this is a great way to have one pen to use them all.

I did not back this Kickstarter as I love my original TiArto but wonder if I should pre-order one anyway?

Hippo Noto

The latest update from the Hippo Noto campaign is that the ivory paper editions of the Hippo Notos were approved and were shipped prior to Chinese New Year and are on their way to Hawaii now to the warehouse to be distributed. If you are still waiting on your Kickstarter backer order (like me), its only a matter of weeks now. There is still an option to do a Late Pledge so if you’d like to get a Hippo Noto notebook, go ahead and place a pledge now before retail prices are final.

Laura has both received and reviewed her Hippo Noto. I am still awaiting my Hippo Noto and ink shipment.

Comp Design Notebook

Last year, the Comp Design composition notebook was one of the most anticipated Kickstarter projects. The goal was to make a high-quality composition notebook with high-quality binding and  high-quality paper. Unfortunately, the project faced many setbacks in the manufacturing process that caused delay after delay. By the time the notebooks finally arrived, I had such a sour taste and I didn’t really want to use them. However, they are a solid notebook and met the goal they set out to fill. If you did not back the original Kickstarter and wait over a year to receive your Comp notebook, you might want to hop over to the Comp website and order one to try. Available in lined or blank.

I backed in the 3-pack of blank Comp notebooks plus the tote bag.



Ink Review: Monteverde Rose Noir

When I learned about Monteverde’s recently released Noir Collection I made a beeline for them.  I’ve been concentrating on wine colors and purples this year (2018 is Ultra Violet) so I added Rose Noir to the shopping cart immediately.

Monteverde Inks

Rose Noir is a yummy, plummy purple that leans more red than blue. It reminds me quite a bit of the Platinum Classic Lavender Black that I reviewed a while ago, except darker and moodier.

Monteverde Rose Noir

Monteverde Rose Noir

The ink performed very well in terms of flow, but there is quite a difference in coverage as you work with different nibs. In the wider nibs, the color lays down much darker than in the finer nibs and this can be the difference between a paler rose color and the darker plum color.

Monteverde Rose Noir

Sadly, this one isn’t water resistant either, although I’m loving the watercolor appearance and might have to play with that as a wash elsewhere. What surprised me most about this ink is that in really saturated samples, there’s a slight green sheen that appears.

Monteverde Rose Noir

When I was looking for something fun to use as a writing sample, I found out that there is a Rose Noir cocktail so I’m sharing that with you, perfect for Valentine’s Day!

Monteverde Rose Noir


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

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

Ink Review: Monteverde California Teal

Recently Pen Chalet had a half price ink sale on Monteverde inks.  The Desk took the opportunity to stock up on inks for review. Today I’ll be reviewing California Teal.

Monteverde Inks

As the name suggests, the ink is a beautiful teal that leans toward the green end of the spectrum. In the bottle it appears blue, but I find the blue tones only come out in much lighter applications. When written with a F or M nib, like the Franklin Christoph that I used, the ink has a decidedly green tone.

Monteverde California Teal

That said, the ink is lovely to write with. It flows well and isn’t too wet, but gives nice coverage with a variety of nibs. In heavy applications, it even has a purple sheen to it, although I don’t see that so much just in writing with smaller nibs.

Monteverde California Teal

Monteverde California Teal

Unfortunately, this one isn’t water resistant at all. I tried at 10 minutes, 1 hour and overnight with much the same results on each.

Monteverde California Teal

I think California Teal most closely resembles Robert Oster Spearmint (review forthcoming), but it does lean just a little bit more blue than green. However, when compared to J. Herbin Emerald de Chivor and Organics Studio Walden Pond, I still end up in the more green than blue camp. What do you think?

Monteverde California Teal


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

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

Ink & Fountain Pen Review: Lamy AL-Star Vibrant Pink

Ink & Fountain Pen Review:  Lamy AL-Star Vibrant Pink

Every year, one of the most anticipated releases is the Lamy AL-Star and Safari fountain pens and accompanying limited edition inks. It is an absolute frenzy, especially since over the last few years, there has been more interest in both the pens and the inks than there has been available supply.

So, when information was leaked at the end of 2017 about the Vibrant Pink AL-Star fountain pen (€ 22,73 € 22,73 Outside EU) and Vibrant Pink ink ( 50 ml bottle: € 10,90 € 9,01 Outside EU / T10 cartridges 5-pack € 2,00 € 1,65 Outside EU ) for 2018, how could I resist?

I mean, its pink and it’s an AL-Star! Imagine how torn I would have been if it had been the Safari? The Vibrant Pink AL-Star is actually a lovely shade of fuchsia. The color ranges from a deep raspberry when its cast in shadow to a bright, hot pink when it reflects the most light. Overall, the effect in person is a bit deeper and richer than a lot of the initial photographs portrayed the pen. It’s not as candy colored as I initially expected it to be.

When lined up along other pink pens in my collection, the Lamy Vibrant Pink is on the darkest edge of pink, darker than my Sailor Pink Love so it’s not as “kiddie” looking as I feared it might look.

I was only able to get cartridges at this point so I dipped a paint brush into the cartridge to do my swab. I did get sheen and evidence of the gold. It was more evident when wet. When dry, the shimmery quality is less evident but the ink maintains a good deal of shading.

In my painted title, the gold halo is super evident. I think it bodes well if you write with a wide nib or plan to use the ink for calligraphy. Fancy fun!

Comparing swatches, my instinct is to say that Lamy Vibrant Pink is closest to Sailor Jentle Peche but I think Peche is a little bit warmer pink and Vibrant Pink is a little bit cooler pink. I do think if you want a spot-on match to the overall Vibrant Pink AL-Star, Callifolio Andrinople is still a great choice.

As for the Vibrant Pink ink, all I can say is that I am thrilled that Lamy made a genuinely usable pink ink with a luscious golden sheen that sells for reasonable price. Now, the hope is that they can actually deliver enough bottles to sate the appetites of the rabid ink fans out there.


There were some comments on The Pen Addict slack and on Instagram for more comparisons with other pinks so I’m uploading some additional pink swatch comparisons.

Some folks were interested to see Vibrant Pink compared to Pilot Iroshizuku Yama Budo, J. Herbin Rose Cyclamen and Kobe #41. In all instances, Vibrant Pink is more pink where the other inks are more bluish/violet in hue.

Comparing Vibrant Pink to all the Pilot Iroshizuku pink options, Vibrant Pink falls between Kosumosu and Tsutsuji in the spectrum. It’s cooler in tone than Kosumosu but a little warmer than Tsutsuji.

Above, is J. Herbin Rouge Opera which is a little more red than Vibrant Pink and the only swatches I own of Platinum Cyclamen Pink and Diamine Hope Pink (such old swatches!). Both Cyclamen Pink and Hope Pink look to be about the same hue but the cards I used don’t show any sheen so I’m not sure the full variation of the inks. I’m going to have to get new samples of these inks!

I hope this addendum helps.


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

Friday Faves: Galentine’s Day


This is for all my pink-loving, let’s have a letter-writing-and-pajama party girlfriends out there. Valentine’s Day is great time to celebrate our friends, our pens and our love of all things pink!

  • Love Letter Enamel Pin $9 (via PennyPaperCo on Etsy)
  • Lamy AL-star vibrant pink fountain pen (special edition 2018) € 27,50 € 22,73 Outside EU (via Fontoplumo)
  • Trusco Ridged Tool Box $35 (via Fresh Stock Japan)
  • Pen UNO – Minimalist Pen in Rose Gold $45 (via Ensso)
  • Vintage Pastel Pink Stripe Notecards (other options available) starting at $4 (via Sapori)
  • Graf von Faber-Castell Tamitio Rose Maechnical Pencil 0.7mm €80.99 (via Appelboom)
  • MT Flowers Washi Tape $3.50/per roll (via Cute Tape)
  • Callifolio Andrinople Fountain Pen Ink 40ml bottle $12 (via Vanness Pens)
  • Twig Berry Brooch Bamboo Pin $12 (via DecoyLab on Etsy)
  • Flower Fields stash bag in Posy Pink $20 (via Skinny LaMinx)
  • Baron Fig Squire in Rose Quartz $55 (via Baron Fig)
  • Baron Fig Guardian Pocket Size in Rose Quartz $45 (via Baron Fig)

Ink Review: Colorverse Ink Andromeda #16, Einstein Ring #04 and Lights on Ceres #05

Ink Review: Colorverse Ink Andromeda #16, Einstein Ring #04 and Lights on Ceres #05

(This is part four of a series of reviews about the new Colorverse ink line. Please refer to the overview for details about the whole collection.)

Continuing with the grouped reviews of Colorverse inks, today I am going to go through the purple-pinks I bought. I know a lot of people were waiting on these so thanks for your patience, I know they will be worth the wait.

For information about the packaging and an overview of the Colorverse, please see the overview from the beginning of the week.

I got three pink-purple colors in the first batch of Colorverse Inks: Einstein Ring #04 and Lights on Ceres #05 from Season One: Spaceward and Andromeda #16 from Season Two: Astrophysics (ignore the “Season 1” written on my swatch).

Lights on Ceres is definitely the lightest of the three colors and my first thought was that it might be this year’s Callifolio Andrinople. With the new Lamy AL-Star release in Hot Pink this year, Lights on Ceres might also be a good match so I’ll be curious to see how similar the Lamy Hot Pink ink is to Light on Ceres, though Light on Ceres does not have any of the sheen that is being seen in early swatch samples of Lamy Hot Pink.

Einstein Ring is a deep raspberry-purple color with a distinct gold sheen. I think the Pantone chip is a pretty good match too.

And, hello Andromeda! I admit, this was the first bottle I opened. Andromeda is more magenta raspberry than Einstein Ring and the sheen is very apparent gold to gold-green like a lovely patina. There is a lot of color similarity though in hue between Andromeda and Einstein Ring so most people probably will want to choose one or the other but not both.

In writing, you can see that Andromeda and Einstein Ring start to look a lot more similar. If you prefer a bit darker, more purple ink, you may prefer Einstein Ring. If you like your purples a little more on the pink side, than Andromeda will be more to your taste. If you want more sheen, Andromeda will appeal more. And if you are wanting the pinkest of the Colorverse colors, than Lights on Ceres though it shades beautifully, it does not have any noticeable sheen.

Compared to some other inks, Einstein Ring is probably closest in hue to R&K Alt. Bordeaux. Private Reserve Arabian Rose is a pinkier and Diamine Syrah is more red.

Even with my epic ink stash, I had a hard time finding another ink that was the same color as Andromeda and nothing in my collection had the same sheen that it has. R&K Magenta or Callifolio Grenat is close in hue but no sheen.

And finally, does Lights on Ceres compete with Callifolio Andrinople? I think it does though I think Lights on Ceres is a little redder. If you do want a pinky-red that sheens though Pelikan Edelstein Turmaline sheens gold in a similar hue range.

Overall, Andromeda is a clear winner and I really like Lights on Ceres. Einstein Ring is a good deep purple-red but I do feel most people would choose either Andromeda or Einstein Ring and not buy both like me. But go crazy. Like loves like.

Tomorrow… we go a little crazy!