Link Love: Edition with the Best Titles

Link Love: Edition with the Best Titles

I’m pretty sure everyone had their Wheaties this week because the post titles were first rate. Even if you don’t click through to every single one, you might want to with titles like “Notebook Turducken” and “The Jinhao 991 Is a Wolf in Uni-ball’s Clothing”. That’s just two of the gems this week. There’s more and I think everyone deserves a high five for verbal acumen!

Post of the Week:




Paper & Notebooks:

Art Supplies & Creativity:

Other Interesting Things:

Ink Review: Monteverde Mandarin Orange

In the last few months, after a lifetime of eschewing the color orange, I’ve been adding more of it to my stash of yarns and inks.  Given this, I insisted that The Desk try Monteverde’s Mandarin Orange as part of it’s inkapalooza.

Monteverde Inks

Mandarin Orange is a good, solid orange ink.  The orange is dark and vibrant, but doesn’t fall into pumpkin or highlighter orange shades.  It is a true, rich, deep orange.

Monteverde Mandarin Orange

Monteverde Mandarin Orange

As you can see, with different nibs and applications I can coax a variety of shades out of this one. In its deepest application, there is definite shading but I don’t get sheen of any other color but that glorious orange.

Monteverde Mandarin Orange

Unfortunately, like many of the other Monteverde inks I sampled, this one isn’t water resistant at all so you won’t be able to keep your written word on the page if it gets wet. That said, I’m tempted to paint with it because the water creates such a lovely orange wash.

Monteverde Mandarin Orange

Apparently I’m a lover of opposites on the color wheel, so I filled my Platinum 3776 Chartres Blue (soft fine nib) with some Mandarin Orange and away we went.

Monteverde Mandarin Orange

I’m also squealing with glee because I have now sampled enough inks to be able to provide some color comparisons. I’d say that Mandarin Orange falls in the same intensity level as Diamine Ancient Copper and Kobe #8 Arima Amber, but leans more towards true orange, whereas those two lean more brown. It is also much deeper and more nuanced than Mont Blanc Lucky Orange or Sailor Jentle Apricot.

Mandarin Orange gets two thumbs up from this orange convert.


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.

Review: Moleskine Eraser & Sharpener Set

Review: Moleskine Eraser & Sharpener Set

Review by Tina Koyama

Well-known for its iconic notebook, Moleskine has been coming out with quite a few other analog stationery and art products the past several years. I recently reviewed the graphite drawing pencils and watercolor pencils. When I was choosing contenders for my Great Eraser Rub-Off Challenge, I included the eraser from the Moleskine Eraser & Sharpener Set ($5.95), but I was also interested in the sharpener because JetPens’ video showed it being used with a jumbo pencil.

The eraser was not particularly stellar against its formidable opponents; you can read about its performance in the Great Rub-Off. I didn’t say much about the eraser’s appearance in the challenge, so it’s worth mentioning here that it maintains the clean, matte black esthetic that is part of Moleskine’s trademark. The logo is printed in white. I found the slender bar shape easy to hold and use.

Now, on to the focus of this review: the sharpener. At first glance, the sharpener looks similar to many handheld sharpeners that are no larger than the blade. It has a matte black finish with a shiny black Moleskine logo. I gotta hand it to Moleskine: Everything the company makes looks good together.

The surprise comes when you look at its business end, which has a very large 12.5mm diameter hole. The package says the sharpener is “designed exclusively for Moleskine pencils.”

When I read “Moleskine pencils,” I thought immediately of the square-barreled drawing and colored pencils I had reviewed recently. Those pencils have a conventional size barrel, but I thought maybe the sharpener would accommodate its distinctive shape. It doesn’t; I mangled the collar and point badly (I’ll spare you photos of that butchery).

That’s when I realized that Moleskine is referring to its large, rectangular-barreled pencils. (They were obviously designed to look like the iconic notebook, but I’ve always thought they look like carpenter’s pencils dressed up for a funeral.)

Sadly, I don’t have those pencils to sharpen with the sharpener that was made “exclusively” for them. But I do have a wide variety of jumbo-sized drawing and colored pencils, many with triangular barrels, that I’ve never been able to find a sharpener for. Even my electric Bostitch QuietSharp 6, which accommodates every other pencil I own, doesn’t have a hole big enough for the humongous Koh-I-Noor Triograph drawing pencils or Koh-I-Noor Magic FX rainbow pencils. I also have a Marco Tri-Jumbo rainbow pencil, which has a slightly smaller-diameter barrel than the Koh-I-Noors but is also triangular. These are all pencils I’ve had to sharpen with a knife.

The Moleskine sharpened all three pencils beautifully – both the wood and the core. Traditional carpenter’s pencils do not fit (though I suppose they are intended to be knife-sharpened anyway). I’m very happy to finally have a portable sharpener (or any sharpener) that fits those crazy Koh-I-Noors.

tina-koyamaTina Koyama is an urban sketcher in Seattle. Her blog is Fueled by Clouds & Coffee, and you can follow her on Instagram as Miatagrrl.

DISCLAIMER: The items included in this review were provided free of charge by JetPens for the purpose of review. This review also includes Amazon Affiliate links. (Every little bit helps keep this blog running.) Please see the About page for more details.

Eye Candy: Happy Valentine’s Day (Our Privileg!)

Eye Candy: Happy Valentine’s Day (Our Privileg!)

A very late Valentine’s greeting from The Well-Appointed Desk tapped out on our brand new typewriter. Its a Privileg 270T and its our privilege to tap out our message on this beauty!

I put a fresh pink ribbon on it for Valentine’s Day but you’ll notice that this typewriter does not have a traditional QWERTY keyboard. It has a QWERTZ keyboard. The Y and Z key are transposed and some specifically Germanic character like the ü, ö, and ä appear at the far right of the keyboard.

All the information I could find about the typewriter suggests that the Privileg 270T dates from the 70s and is a Nakajima brand machine badged for the Eastern European market. This machine is in pristine condition and the typeface alone was what made me melt. Then the warm tomato color of the plastic. It has earned “upstairs typewriter” status.

So, be warned, you may get a mailing label or letter tapped out on this beauty with my y’s and z’s all mixed up.


Pen Show: LA or Bust!

Laura and I are headed for the LA Pen Show tomorrow. It’s Laura’s first pen show ever and, for me, I think I’ve actually lost count but I think I’ve finally moved past double digits.

We will be at the show for the whole weekend, arriving Thursday night. Laura will be getting the full immersive experience when she’s not spending a little quality time with her family. Her father is bursting with pride that she’s become a “fountain pen person” so he may walk the show with her a bit on Sunday.

We are particularly excited to get out this Midwestern winter, eat some tacos and maybe visit a yarn shop.

If you see either of us during the show, at the bar or anywhere, please stop and say hello. We would love to meet you in person.

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.