Ink Review: TWSBI Grape

Ink Review: TWSBI Grape

TWSBI has new colors! Most of the time, this announcement means a new 580AL or Eco from TWSBI, but today I’m showing one of the new TWSBI ink colors.

TWSBI released 5 new colors in their ink lineup – Grape, Tangerine, Navy, Crimson, and Forest Green. I purchased a bottle of each at Vanness where the 18mL bottles were $6.50 each, coming in around $0.40 per mL.

The bottles for the 18mL inks are a beautiful frosted glass with a bit of heft for their size and, my favorite, are square for easy storage with other bottles. The packaging is secure and not excessive.

TWSBI grape was not the color I had imagined – I was expecting a much more purple ink.

Instead, Grape is not what I would label as purple at all but rather a deep fuchsia. Although the color was a surprise, I still love it. plenty of shading and a touch of a dark halo.

A swatch on Tomoe River paper:

A swatch on Cosmo Air Light paper:

I love the crisp outline on the CAL paper. As usual, the ink shows as a bit more blue on Cosmo Air Light.

I’ll be working my way through these inks in the near future! For now, here’s a glance at all five on Tomoe River paper:

and on Cosmo Air Light paper:


DISCLAIMER: The items included in this review were purchased by me and I was not compensated to write this review. Please see the About page for more details.

Link Love: The First Day of Inkvent!

Link Love: The First Day of Inkvent!

I was delighted to be able to open the first window on my Diamine Inkvent Calendar this morning. I am sharing a peek of the window but I will save the ink swatches for later so I don’t spoil the surprise for anyone. We will be doing our annual Inkmas starting Monday, Dec. 13 and leading up to Christmas. Leave a note in the comments if there’s an ink you’d particularly like us to include in Inkmas this year.




Notebooks & Paper:

Art & Creativity (& Knitting!):

Other Interesting Things:

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Nankniswemo: Completing a challenge!

Nankniswemo: Completing a challenge!

At the beginning of the month, Laura talked about the NaKniSweMo (Knit a Sweater in a Month) Challenge that she and I both participate in every year. Like the NaNoWriMo challenge, we are not always successful but this year we both set ourselves pretty accomplishable goals. Laura spent a week in the car so knitting was about the only thing she could do making finishing the project more doable than other years. I took on a project that involved complicated colorwork at the beginning of the project, with more “brainless knitting” at the end so I could just knit, knit, knit! I also made sure to choose a short-sleeved pattern this year because anyone who has ever knit with me knows I hate knitting sleeves and do it grudgingly, usually after knitting three other projects just to avoid the sleeves.

Of course, I couldn’t work on this project without wondering, what inks best go with it.

Not only did my project (the Navelli by Caitlin Hunter) end up following the color scheme that the designer knit up her sample but it matched ALL THE THINGS in my stationery world right now. Inking up my Pelikan M205 in Moonstone and filling it with Colorverse #17 Vortex Motion or Lamy Crystal Agate was a perfect match to the dark Sunshine Yarns I used for the edging and colorwork pattern.  Colorverse x Opus 88 Adobe and Kyo-no-oto #4 Yamabuki-iro (also Birmingham Pen Co. Chuck Cooper Sunrise Key which is no longer available) matched the brassy yellow tones of my main color (yarn of unknown origin purchased at a swap sale). The light speckled yarn was also from Sunshine Yarns.

What really tickled me is that the whole project, while being OH SO AUTUMNY also matched the Laine My Knitting Notes notebook I’m using to track and annotate all my knitting projects but also my new Stitcher’s Oracle Deck.

Laura also completed her NaKniSweMo and posted this photo on Instagram with the finished photos and details but no ink swatches! What colors do you think might best match this yarn?

Laura's NaKniSweMo

My guesses would be one of the following:

Either Robert Oster Terra Cotta, Kyo-iro #04 Moonlight or Diamine Autumn Oak.

So, with NaKniSweMo behind us, its time to start our frantic holiday knitting. Time to get all the projects on the planner!

Our Holiday “Gift Guide” Wishlist: 2021 Edition

Over the years, we’ve done all sorts of gift guides and wishlists. This year, we tried to keep it simple. These are a few of the things on our wishlists that might inspire you. I promise we didn’t intentionally make everything teal and purple, it just worked out that way. 🙂

Ana’s Wishlist

One of the things I really want this year is the perfect monthly and weekly inserts for my personal-sized Filofax planner. So far, I’ve not been able to find the right combination of layouts and paper online or on Etsy so what I need is a day without anything else on my schedule so that I can just design the pages and print and cut them. Shop Brooklyn Grace Weekly and Monthly pages are REALLY close!

For actual purchasable goods, I’ve been eyeballing the Jam Studio Sticker Album in Twinkle Aqua ($15) to select and organize some of the stickers and washi tape that I’ve collected. I’ve also been wanting a Kaweco AL Sport (starting around $66) as I don’t own any AL Sports. Okay, I have one but it’s so rare I’m afraid to use it. If I were to select just one color of the AL Sport, I’d probably choose the Rose Gold or Violet.

Even though I own a ridiculous number of Birmingham Inks, I still see more colors I want. Antique Sepia, Rotten Seaweed and Periwinkle are all beautiful ($13 per bottle).

Laura’s Wishlist

Laura has spent the last two weeks on the road so I think what she really wants this holiday is the comforts of home: her own bed, good home cooked meals, access to all her yarn, fiber, pens and inks and sitting still for a bit. But she did take a few minutes out of her busy travel schedule to put together a quick list of her favorite things.

  1. The new inks from Dominant Industry (Yoseka Stationery)
  2. Sailor Pro Gear Slim in Blue Green Nebula (Pen Chalet)
  3. Musubi Sakura in Purple (Musubi)

Tina’s Wishlist

As an urban sketcher, I frequently stand on the sidewalk to draw, but there’s another kind of urban art that requires kneeling on the sidewalk: David Zinn’s! The Ann Arbor, Michigan, artist draws whimsical characters on pavements and walls with chalk, which means the ephemeral art eventually washes away. Before they do, though, he documents them with photographs and videos on Instagram, and I look forward to each post. High on my wish list is his newest book, Chance Encounters, which will be out in March. If you’re looking for gift ideas, I recommend his delightful 2022 wall calendar Street Art (I already bought one for myself, and several friends will be receiving them for the holidays) and postcard set. I also have his how-to Chalk Art Handbook, which is intended for young, would-be sidewalk artists. Although I’m not sure my knees are ready to draw on the ground, I learned so much about perspective and anamorphosis (the book explains what that is)!

A pencil geek would not be fulfilled without an El Casco sharpener. Friends who have one swoon about the perfect, slightly concave point this iconic sharpener makes, even on colored pencils. This has been on my wish list for a while, but there are many to choose from – 23kt gold? Chrome? Vintage? Decisions, decisions.

Also on my wish list for a while is something that I haven’t seen yet – but I’ll know it when I see it. I have been trying to make my tiniest sketch kit ever, which would be a small box just large enough to contain four half-size colored pencils and a waterbrush. Contemporary craft tins are the easy answer, but I got the idea in my head to find the perfect vintage box. The eBay rabbit hole is deep.

What’s on your wishlist?

Planner Review: Luddite Function Pro Freefield Vertical B6

Planner Review: Luddite Function Pro Freefield Vertical B6

I was so excited to  review this planner. Upon initial research, The Luddite Function Pro Freefield Vertical B6 Planner ($19) had a lot of things going for it:

  • Available in A5 and B6 size
  • Tomoe River 52 gsm paper
  • Freefield Vertical layout (as well  as 4 other page layouts)

On the plus side:

  • The lines are a light grey and inside the field areas are an even lighter 5mm grid.
  • The type used for the days of the week is crisp, unobtrusive Futura.
  • The weeks start with Monday.
  • I love the “Freefield Vertical” layout. I don’t have a lot of meetings to account for on my calendar but lots of projects, to-dos and notes I like to track. This type of layout provides space at the top for AM/PM or home/work events and then the rest of the column/below area is open for other information. I tend to use this type of layout treating the lower section as a communal space for weekly activities. I may make a section to track activities, list out books I’ve read or podcasts I’ve listened to, etc.

Unfortunately, the reality of this planner did not align with my expectations.

  1. Somehow in my head, I thought the size was A6, not B6. While B6 (approximately 5″x7″) is quickly becoming a popular size, I do not own any covers that are B6 sized.
  2. The monthly pages are all in the front and the weekly pages follow. Since this is a bound softcover planner, there are no built-in book marks or tabs to make flipping back and forth easy.
  3. The covers of the planner are the thinnest cardstock. The book is floppy and needs a cover of some sort to stiffen it and make it durable enough to be used for a full calendar year. The thin 52gsm paper  provides no additional stability so without a cover of some sort, this notebook will be a wrinkled, crumpled mess within a couple weeks.
  4. The 52gsm Tomoe River paper is not the Tomoe River paper we have grown to love. This must be the new Tomoe River 52gsm and, I hate to say it, it’s garbage. I tested multiple pages and fountain pens to verify that it was not a fluke. These images (comparing the Luddite planner with an Elia Note) shows how differently the paper behaves. The writing was done with the same pen and ink on the same day. Yeah… horrifying.
  5. And finally, the 52gsm paper reminded me why I have never really taken to the Hobonichi planners — the show through from day-to-day and week-to-week is too distracting for me. It looks and feel messier than a more opaque page. My planner pages can get messy enough as it is but seeing the mess from last week just makes my skin itch.

It breaks my hear a little to do this but I do not recommend this planner. Just the paper quality alone os enough for me to say no, no, no. If you are not a fountain pen connoisseur, then there is no real appeal for buying a Tomoe River planner  so I can’t even caveat this review with “well, other pen users might like it”. Nope. Hard pass.

DISCLAIMER: The 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.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Another year is coming to a close and I like to reflect on the good things that have happened this year and the good people in my life.

So, allow me to give thanks for:

  • The readers of The Well-Appointed Desk: your support, comments and shared enthusiasm for pens and stationery have kept me going all these years. Your comments and feedback have been what keeps us writing this blog every week.
  • To all our Patrons, you are the kindest, most loyal readers and I cannot tell you how much your support means to me. Thank you so much.
  • To all the shops and vendors who have supported this site over the last 11 years, we couldn’t have made it this far without you.
  • I want to thank Tina, Laura, Jesi and Jaclyn for bringing their talents and enthusiasm to this site. I couldn’t do this without them.
  • And finally, to Bob who has made it possible for my crazy projects to become a reality.

To celebrate and show our gratitude, we are offering a coupon for all our friends. In either of our shops, Big Cartel or Etsy, we are offering 20% off all merchandise through Tuesday, November 30, 2021 at 11:59pm. Use the coupon code THANKS to access the discount.

Link Love: Let the Gifting Begin

Tomorrow is US Thanksgiving and we have already been consuming excessive amounts of food which has lead to WEIRD dreams. Does that happen to you too?

May you eat your fill and have weird dreams, if you dig that. Then shop and eat some more. Love to you all!

Gift Guides:




Notebooks & Paper:

Art & Creativity:

Other Interesting Things:

We need each other. Please support our sponsors and affiliates. Your patronage will let them know you appreciate their support of the pen community. Without them, and without you, we could not continue to do what we do. Thank you!