Link Love: Brad’s Big Week

Link Love: Brad’s Big Week

Nock Co x Rickshaw Collab

While the big news for lots of folks was a good trip to DC for the pen show, for Brad effin’ Dowdy, it was an exceptionally big week. And friends celebrate friends. So, let’s all cheer for (and tease) Brad for appearing on WNYC and also launching a collaboration with Rickshaw Bags to release the new version of the Sinclair 3-pen case which will be available in a couple weeks at the SF Pen Show.

Go Brad! Go Brad! Rock on with yer bad self!

Link of the Week:




Notebooks & Paper:

Art & Creativity:

Other Interesting Things:

We need each other. Please support our sponsors, affiliates or join our Patreon. Your patronage supports this site. Without them, and without you, we could not continue to do what we do. Thank you!

Giveaway Winner: Ferris Wheel Press Brush Fountain Pen & Ink Charger Set

Giveaway Winner: Ferris Wheel Press Brush Fountain Pen & Ink Charger Set

Thanks so much to everyone who entered our giveaway for the Ferris Wheel Press Brush Fountain Pen & Ink Charger Set. I’m glad the post helped to introduce a lot of folks to this delightful Canadian pen and stationery brand.

Our winner is:

I will be contacting Robert directly to arrange delivery of his new pen and ink set.

Notebook Review: Paperblanks New Romatics Midi

I’m getting ready to head out of town on vacation for the first time in a few years, and I’m super excited. My husband and I like to travel with Race2Adventure – he loves the running, I love the yarn stores (no one’s surprised right?) This time we’re headed to Norway for sightseeing, running, yarn and more.

So I was thrilled a few weeks ago when Ana handed me a Paperblanks journal with the suggestion I use it to commemorate the trip. She’s so right – I’ll forget all the details if I don’t write them down, so thanks for the nudge.

I did decide to give the notebook a bit of a test run before I left home – today I’ll share what I found.

The journal Ana gave me is a Paperblanks Midi Notebook from The New Romantics series ($18.95). The hardcover is made of 100% recycled binder boards and covered in a pretty cover paper. The blue is called “Peacock Punk” and is lightly embossed in some fun patterns and a bit of yellow/gold color. (The notebook also comes in Velvet Cape (green) in Midi and Mini, and Midnight Rebel (black) and Urban Glam (red) in Ultra size.)

Inside the notebook has front and end papers in a kraft brown paper, along with a memento pouch in the back (perfect for ticket stubs and the like!). There is a black elastic which can hold the notebook closed (if I stuff it too full!) and a gold colored ribbon bookmark.

The paper in this notebook is great! It is thicker (120gsm) in an off-white color, and there are 144 pages. The pages are lined (lines are 6.67mm apart) which makes for easy journaling on the go without using lining sheets. The journal has sewn binding and feels pretty sturdy.

This one is a nice travel size: 5″ x 7″ and 0.75″ thick (130mm x 180mm; 20mm) though it does come in heavier than a Field Notes. With the hard cover, it weighs in at 9.8oz/279gm. That, to me, is the only drawback, especially on a trip where we’re always on the go moving our own luggage!

The paper performs really nicely. I tested it with everything from my magic rainbow pencil through Sharpies and Copic markers and nothing shows through except those last two.

I’m heartily looking forward to my vacation, and now I’ve got a pretty sweet little journal to travel with. I think I’m going to take my Kaweco AL Sport in Violet with me (plus extra cartridges). I chose that because it’s reliable and I can always toss out an ink cartridge if it leaks and start a new one. My journal won’t be colorful, but it will be fun to take notes, remember small moments and places we travel. I’ll share more when I get back!

Journaling with Clear Stamps

Journaling with Clear Stamps

As I’ve mentioned earlier this year, I am doing a very slack, modified bullet journal system that combines a lot of the elements of a commonplace book and a log book as well as the standard to-do lists. It’s not the prettiest (i.e. Instagram-worthy) planner system but I like it and it works for me.

As we move into the last half of the year, my daily bullet journaling has been a bit more sporadic. I’ve skipped more than one day in a row and I wanted to inspire myself to get back into regularly writing the daily ebbs and flows of my days.

So, I decided to purchase a few sets of stamps in hopes that doing a little pretty-ing of my journal/planner might help inspire me to be more active with it. I could have gotten more brush pens or stickers or other methods for embellishment but I decided to start with stamps and go from there.

I found an assortment of fun and interesting clear stamps on JetPens that I decided to try.

I started with three sets of MU My Icon “Splice Stamp” clear stamps ($4.40 per set). I purchased the Moon Phase Set (Lunar Phases), a Wildflower set (Flowers – B) and a Frame Set (Large Frames -A). There were 16 different sets available on JetPens and they were all pretty so it was hard to pick just three.

I also bought the BGM Ink & Pain Clear Stamp set (no longer in stock!). I didn’t realize when I bought it that it would be out of stock so I apologize for (potentially) tempting you with a product that is not available. I thought it was cute and I wanted to see how someone else did an ink bottle stamp. The large ink spots and spills are not particularly useful to me — I can make a mess all on my own, thankyouveddymuch. But I thought the paint tube and star chart was cute.

In better news, I also got the BGM Cat To-Do Clear Stamp Set ($10.25). The largest stamp in the Cat To-Do sheet is the “checklist” stamp that measures approximately 2.5″ x 1.5″. There is one stamp with Japanese writing (according to Google Translate it says YEAR/MONTH/DAY with a bit of space between each word to fill in your current info) but the others are written in English. The stamp in the lower right corner looks like a cat sitting on a lunch bag which is perfect for adding in info about what you had for lunch or if you like to meal plan.

The final set of clear stamps I found on Etsy and was so charmed by the little tarot symbols that I had to buy it. This set came from Writual Planner Shop and sells for $45. Its a bit pricey but it is the only stamp set I’ve seen like this so I purchased it. I’ve been learning to read tarot and I thought the stamps would be a fun way to keep tracking of the cards I pull each day. The set includes the full Major Arcana and a stamp for cups, wands, swords and pentacles so I just have to write the number next those for the full deck. Really, the set was so stinkin’ cute it was hard to resist. The tarot stamps came with a small acrylic block and a free teeny stamp pad which was nice to have included!

Acrylic Blocks:

If you’re unfamiliar with using clear stamps, you need to adhere them to a firm surface in order to use them. Many makers of clear stamps recommend clear acrylic blocks. The advantage is that you can see where you are placing the stamp so you can be a bit more accurate in aligning the stamp to the rest of the content on your page. I have, over the years, acquired an array of different sized acrylic blocks. Some have printed guidelines on them, round corners, one even has a hole to attach the block to a keychain.

While purchasing the clear stamps on JetPens, I found this set of MU round acrylic pegs ($4.90 for the set of 2). The set include one peg that is 2.3cm in diameter and one that is 1.8cm in diameter. Since I purchased a couple sets of stamps that were quite small, I thought this would be a great addition to my acrylic block collection.

The pegs are long enough to be easy to maneuver at 2.5cm tall. They are also kind of cool to look at — these little pillars of clear acrylic.

The smallest of the clear stamps that I purchased fit neatly on the end of the peg. I kind of want to find more tiny stamps to use these cool little pegs.

I have heard that some folks just stick the stamp to the clear lid from their stamp pad which I think is supremely clever and cuts down on buying a lot of extra stuff. The Ranger Archival Stamp Pads ($7 and up) I sell in my shop do not have clear lids so I think I’ll stick to using the clear blocks for the time being. If I switch to less permanent stamp pads (most of the water-based pads have clear lids) I will have less to carry in my kit.

Using the Stamps:

I tested the stamps on both Tomoe River and my daily bullet journal notebook, a Paperblanks 120gsm notebook.  I wanted to see how the stamps and ink pads performed on both papers as they are the papers I use most frequently. Dry time was pretty reasonable for the Ranger pads on the Tomoe which was a surprise.

When using clear stamps, there is less need to press hard to make an image. In fact, the lighter the touch the better because the material is much squishier than the traditional woodblock stamps. If I pressed too hard on the stamp pad or on the paper, the line widths of the artwork would get a little wider than needed.

On the Paperblanks paper, I added my dates for the coming week and layered the stamps a little bit. It took about 15 minutes to test drive the stamps and then combine into a little collages for each page. I love the cat doing the splits. He looks so stoic. The large frames stamps are perfect for my date on each page. The frames just elevated my dates a little bit. I may start adding color with pencils or brush pens to make my little dates pop a bit more.

Final Observations:

Overall, I’m pretty happy with my stamp purchases. I don’t think it’s a big deal that the Ink & Paint set is sold out because there were only a couple stamps on the whole sheet that I liked. Suffice to say, you’re not missing anything there. I love the MU My Icon “Splice Stamp” clear stamps. The lines were delicate and the designs were beautiful. I will definitely be picking up a few more sets of those. I realize that the tarot stamps are probably a bit specific to my interests but maybe it will inspire you to looks for stamps you could use in your own planner/journal that relate (fitness trackers, books, film, music, etc).

Let me know if you are looking for any themed stamps or what hobby you are into these days.

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

Giveaway: Ferris Wheel Press Brush Fountain Pen (in Lord Evergreen) & Ink Charger Set

Giveaway: Ferris Wheel Press Brush Fountain Pen (in Lord Evergreen) & Ink Charger Set

We were able to obtain a beautiful set from Ferris Wheel Press to give away here on the blog today. The set includes the Brush Fountain Pen in “Lord Evergreen” ($160USD MSRP) with a Medium gold plated nib and the Twilight Garden Ink Charger set ($16USD).

The pen comes with a converter and a velveteen carrying pouch.

The new ink chargers come in a more compact box than the original long tube box which makes storing easier. The ink still come in petite glass vials with the signature gold cap. The opening in the vials is a bit narrow so using the “chargers” to fill your pen may require using a pipette or a large-gauge syringe.

The pouch is foil stamped with a maple leaf on the front and Ferris Wheel Press branding and tagline on the back.

The grip section of the pen has beautiful artwork engraved into the barrel section making it stunning and functionally more grippy.

The charger set has wonderful messaging on the box and two standard ink colors and one shimmer.

Go forth and enter!

This Giveaway is for one (1) Ferris Wheel Press Brush Fountain Pen and Ink Charger set as shown. Retail value: $176USD. One (1) winner will be selected from entries that meet our giveaway rules listed below.

TO ENTER: Leave a comment below and what, if any Ferris Wheel Press products you currently own. If you don’t own any, what would you buy? Play along and type in something. It makes reading through entries more interesting for me, okay? One entry per person.

If you have never entered a giveaway or commented on the site before, your comment must be manually approved by our highly-trained staff of monkeys before it will appear on the site. Our monkeys are underpaid and under-caffeinated so don’t stress if your comment does not appear right away. Give the  monkeys some time.

FINE PRINT: All entries must be submitted by 10pm CST on Tuesday, August 9, 2022. All entries must be submitted at, not Twitter, Tumblr or Facebook, okay? Winner will be announced on Wednesday. Winner will be selected by random number generator from entries that played by the rules (see above). Please include your actual 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 5 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 and APO/AFO only, sorry.

Link Love: Pelikan Hubs are Back!

Pelikan Hubs 2022

There had been a good deal of speculation over the last few months whether Pelikan would continue its Hub events. Rumors of Pelikan suffering serious financial losses during the pandemic only fueled those rumors. But clearly, despite those rumors, Pelikan is going ahead with their worldwide Pelikan Hub event which has been on hiatus since 2019.

If you are interested in attending an event in your area, sign up ASAP. Pelikan only leaves the Hub sign-up list open for a couple weeks to get an idea of how many people might be in attendance in each city. Then Hubmasters — all volunteers– must find a location and organize the local events. Pelikan provides banners, inks and some other goodies which must be shipped all over the world so there’s a lot of planning that goes into the events.

If you are in the KC area, I did volunteer to be the Hubmaster again for 2022. I was the Hubmaster in 2019 but I am pretty sure Pelikan only allows people to be Hubmasters twice before bestowing the honor to a new person. If you’re interested in being a Hubmaster, there is a Facebook group that can help you plan and organize your event. You are also welcome to email me if you would like my perspective. Heck, if you’re feeling motivated and want to be the KC Hubmaster, I’d be happy to turn over the crown!

Link of the Week:

News: Pelikan Hubs 2022, It’s Back!  (via The Pelikan’s Perch)




Notebooks & Paper:

Art & Creativity:

Other Interesting Things:

We need each other. Please support our sponsors, affiliates or join our Patreon. Your patronage supports this site. Without them, and without you, we could not continue to do what we do. Thank you!

When Yarn and Stationery Collide: Blackwing X LolaBean Yarn Co

You know I love the intersection of stationery and anything knitting related. So I squeed last night when I received the most recent email from LolaBean Yarn Co.

LolaBean Yarn Co. is a Georgia-based independent yarn dyeing company, headed by Adella Colvin. Adella named the company LolaBean in honor of her daughter, Lola, in the hopes that she’ll one day be able to pass the business down. Her colorways are gorgeously speckled and layered yarns, but her company has a larger purpose.

6 skeins of yarn featuring creams, peaches, lavenders and grays all with hot pink speckles
LolaBean Yarns, courtesy of Knit*Stars

The LolaBean Yarn Co Brand believes in and stands for diversity, inclusivity and accessibility. We strongly believe that Black Lives Matter and that equal rights and protections for the LGBTQ+ community is a fundamental right. Being a company that is owned and operated by a woman of color, it is vital that we help to bring more color into what has otherwise been a predominantly white industry.

It turns out Adella is also an admirer of Blackwing! After being a loyal pencil subscriber and using them for years, Adella wondered if she might one day be able to collaborate with them.  Recently she reached out to Blackwing, and they responded positively, collaborating with her through their Bespoke and Branded programs. So the point of my post is to introduce you to the Bean Book!

A yellow notebook with an adorable little black girl on the cover. She is wear a handknit sweater in green and pink with colorwork hearts and her hair is braided with pink beads.
The Bean Book – LBYC x Blackwing

This medium Blackwing Slate is an A5 hardcover notebook that is a bit wider than a standard notebook (148 x 210 mm). It features 160 pages of 100 GSM ivory ruled paper that is perfect for graphite or ink.

Every Slate notebook features a signature lay-flat binding, matte cover, and pencil holster that comes loaded with a Blackwing pencil. This particular notebook features the all-new LBYC “All Growed Up” logo designed by our friend Shelli.Can.

We were very intentional with selecting this artwork for the cover because we truly believe that representation matters. We want to ensure that we continue to put out images of Black joy and excellence to combat against the negative stereotypes and depictions of our people.

The back cover of a bright green notebook with black binding and the words LolaBean Yarn Co printed on it.
The Bean Book – LBYC x Blackwing

If you’re interested in purchasing your own Bean Book ($30.00) you can head over to LBYC and order one of your very own – I got my order in first thing yesterday!

(PS and if you’re a knitter, find her yarns online or at a stockist near you!)