Link Love: 2016 Wrap Up




Paper & notebooks:


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Ink Review: KWZ Honey (New & Old Formula)

KWZ Honey (old and new formula)

I finally had a chance to test both KWZ Honey (the original formula) and the newly formulated (less odiferous) version ($13 for 60ml bottle) and thought I’d write up a side-by-side comparison. The new formula of KWZ Honey hit the US in the fall with little fanfare and mixed opinions. This gave me a bit of time to play with both versions and let me simmer down in my feelings one way or another. The reason the formula was altered stemmed from the distinct smell in the original formula of Honey. It has a distinct astringent scent from the preservative used to keep the ink from molding or getting funky. It reminds me of menthol. The new version has very little scent, more of a traditional inky smell. Some people feel that the change in the preservative also altered the color and translucency. So, let’s see if you agree.

The original formula of KWZ Honey was purchased in cases this summer. I know this for a fact because I helped sell a lot of it behind the Vanness Pens table in Chicago and DC specifically. By the time we got to Dallas though, the new formula had be introduced. We really hadn’t had much chance to compare the two versions prior to Dallas other than a few quick swabs and the sniff test. So this is the first chance I’ve had to publicly share my comparisons.

KWZ Honey (old and new formula) swab comparison

Above are the swabs of both versions. The  original formula swab is in the center and I did that when I first received my bottle of Honey several months ago. The swabs right and left were done on the same day, with the same brush and dried for exactly the same amount of time to be as close in comparison as possible and as unlikely to have any fading or other changes as possible. And those were done last week.

KWZ Honey (old and new formula) writing sample

These are writing samples left and right with the same brush for the headers (my Silver round brush #6) and the same Esterbrook fountain pen nib for the writing samples done at the same time for color comparisons. In side-by-side comparisons, I was initially going to be all “oh, you can definitely tell a difference” but in the end, I really can’t tell a noticeable difference between the two versions other than the distinct lack of smelling like Vick’s Vap-o-Rub when using the new formula.

Honey shades from a nice golden color to a rich chocolate brown. There’s great range to the color.

KWZ Honey (old and new formula) swab comparison

I’ve include comparison swatches of some other warm golden browns, including Callifolio Heure D’orée which is a seriously underappreciated ink. I’ll be doing a more detailed review of it soon. Other browns don’t  shade with as wide as range as Honey.  Akkerman #22 Hopjesbrown is a much more reddish brown and Iroshizuku Ino-Ho and KWZ Green Gold 2 are both much more yellow-green but are closest in value.

So, if you had wanted to buy KWZ Honey but were not buying it because you only wanted “the one, true original formula” you are doing yourself a disservice. The new formula is just as lovely as the original with 95% less Vap-o-Rub scent.

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

Giveaway: Montegrappa Fortuna Rainbow Fountain Pen

Montegrappa Fortuna Rainbow

As only the Italians could say it, PACE! When we were traveling in Italy several years ago, there were flags flying from every window with a bright rainbow with bold letters saying “PACE” which means PEACE. And today, of all days that is what I wish for you. The kind folks at Kenro are helping me make that wish extra special today by giving me a Montegrappa Fortuna Rainbow to give away to one lucky reader — the perfect holiday gift to usher in a new year full of happiness and peace. The pen is named after the Goddess Fortuna, the goddess of Luck and Good Fortune, most prophetic.

Montegrappa Fortuna Rainbow

The Montegrappa Fortuna is stunning and I’m so honored to have gotten to see it in person before sending it along. The resin is so striking. The pen is weighty without feeling heavy (with converter unfilled and capped, it weighs 22gms which is the same weight as a Lamy AL-Star). It measures 5.375″ capped, 5″ uncapped and over 6.25″ uncapped (it exceeded the length of my pocket ruler so I’m guessing a bit here) but it does post! And there is no seam between the colors, they flow effortlessly from one to the other. When replacing the cap, the rainbow stripes line up without any effort too. Maybe I just get lucky but they seem to line up every time I put the cap back on. It’s really kind of riveting to look at. The nib is a medium and the engraving on the nib is unique to Montegrappa. Lovely.

The pen ships in its original packaging and box and is unused. I did not ink it up and comes with a cartridge converter and a couple cartridges and scarf of some sort that I did not remove from its package.

Montegrappa Fortuna Rainbow

With love from Kenro and The Well-Appointed Desk!

Montegrappa Fortuna Rainbow

TO ENTER: To enter the giveaway, all I ask is that you send a message of peace to someone in the comments.

FINE PRINT: All entries must be submitted by 10pm CST on Thursday, December 29, 2016. All entries must be submitted at, not Twitter, Tumblr or Facebook, okay? Winner will be announced on Friday. 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 via USPS Priority Mail 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 ONLY, sorry.

Fashionable Friday: All That Shimmers

ff-All That Shimmers

In the spirit of the holidays and an urge to celebrate New Year’s with the proper sparkly pomp, I bring you “All That Shimmers” this week. I hope your holidays sparkle with promise and celebration this week and all of 2017.

  • Daisy Place Pencil Cup $20 (via Kate Spade NY)
  • Sailor 1911 Large Fountain Pen in White with Gold Trim $248 (via Anderson Pens)
  • Diamine Shimmering Moon Dust Ink (50 ml Bottle) $20.50 (via JetPens)
  • Mercer Large Bonded Metallic Leather Satchel $298 (via Michael Kors)
  • Zodiac Journal $18 (via Anthropologie) (30% off full-price gifts reflected at checkout)
  • Piuma Super Minimal Fountain Pen, starting at $45 (via Kickstarter)
  • Ananas Trinket Dish & Clips $18 (via Anthropologie) (30% off full-price gifts reflected at checkout)
  • Midori Brass Pencil $16 (via Fresh Stock Japan)
  • Platinum 3776 Century Fountain Pen in Black Diamond with Fine Gold Nib $165.66 (via Pen Chalet)
  • CUBE- Machined Pen/Notebook Storage $95 (via Karas Kustoms) (Use coupon code “wellapptdesk” for 10% off your order)
  • Super Gold High Class Rubber Eraser $ 9 (via C.W. Pencil Enterprise)
  • Liquid Glitter Voila iPhone 6 Case $45 (via Kate Spade NY)
  • Glitter & Be Gay Polish $15 (via 1898 House)

Ink Review: Robert Oster Signature Khaki

Robert Oster Khaki

I am reviewing another in my heaping pile of Robert Oster Signature Inks. This time its the Khaki which I was surprised to discover was actually a bit more green than what I tend to associate with khaki but it may be a misinterpretation of Yanks vs. Aussies sort-of thing. Oster Khaki ($16 per 50ml plastic bottle) is a color I associate with the perfect cocktail olive — or at least the dark briny juice that one finds cocktail olives floating in. I couldn’t write with this ink without wanting to put on one of those fabulous Thin Man movies and fill a shaker with several ounces of the finest gin and copious amounts of crushed ice. Asta, darling, time for your walksies!

Robert Oster Khaki writing sample

All sloppy drunken jokes aside, the shading and color on this ink is quite delightful. It walks a perfect balance (at least for me) between a yellowy green and deep woodsy green. It’s dark enough to be legible but green enough to be green with enough yellow to be MY KIND of green. Sometimes, in order to get greens dark enough, inks get too black, too blue or too well, not green anymore. And I don’t always want a bright candy color (I know that might be hard to believe).

Robert Oster Khaki Swab Comparison

Here’s my comparison swatches. These are the greens that were closest in hue to Oster Khaki. The closest is Bung Box 88 Green Tea and you’ll be delighted to hear that Oster Khaki is considerably less expensive and (IMHO) a better color. Diamine Safari and Montblanc Daniel DeFoe are both much more saturated colors in comparison.

So, there you have it. If I were to make a list of my favorite green inks, this one would be pretty close to the top of the list. And I am super picky about the perfect shade of green. If I were to have my own “signature” green, this might just be it.

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

Podcast: Art Supply Posse #28

This week, Art Supply Posse broadcasts without me. And it is the start of the new (and improved version) of Art Supply Posse). Heather is joined by her new co-host, Kathy Campbell. They reflect on 2016 and plan their artistic ambitions for 2017. This is the last episode of 2016; Art Supply Posse will return on January 11th.

Moving forward, I will no longer be a weekly contributor to the show in order to spend more time here on the blog and pursuing creative pursuits and maybe, just maybe… sleeping. I am so thankful for the opportunity and support from everyone who has listened to the show and wish success and  continued support to Heather and Kathy as they move forward.

To listen to the episode and see the full show notes, visit the web site here.

Link Love: Reflections



Paper & Notebooks:



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