Friday, April 3, 2020

Oddly Satisfying Handwriting Sailor King Eagle Fountain Pen

Sometimes it's just fun to use your fun nibs for, well, fun! The goodies I use are listed below. Some of them are hard to find, in case you're looking. Hope it tickles your fancy!

Fountain Pen: Classic Pens LB5
Nib: Sailor King Eagle
Inks: Caran d'Ache Caribbean Sea, Robert Oster Green Olive Ink, Robert Oster Peppermint

Music: BenSound

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Vinta Inks Blue Floss Perya Stole My Heart.

Vinta Inks are obsessively designed and meticulously mixed. Our inks are meant for fountain pen or calligraphy use. We promise that we use the finest ingredients to make the best ink that we can.
Vinta Inks are made in the Philippines and they have a pretty cool initiative that I didn't even know about until I started reading up more about them.
At Vinta, we believe that education is one of the most important paths towards poverty alleviation. That is why for every bottle of ink you purchase, we will donate P25.00 to Teach for the Philippines, Inc. in their goal to provide access to quality education for all Filipino children. Help us make the world a more colorful place, one bottle at a time. 
That's pretty cool. I always like supporting companies that are trying to do something for someone else. It's just nice to see they have a bigger picture in mind. Of course, I picked these colors long before I knew about their initiative. These are the four colors I went with, and I am telling you, it was hard to pick just four: Deep water Blue Lucia, Mermaid Green Sirena, Blue Floss Perya, and Violet Maskara. I did not know the background behind the names but I love the names and it's really interesting to learn about the Philippines and the inspirations. They are whimsical and fun, and educational! The boxes are adorable and classy and the round amber bottles are simple and easy to fill from.

  • Deepwater Blue - Lucia - this is a gorgeous medium blue with greenish undertones. It shades to a lighter blue but doesn't get too dark. It definitely does not feel like "just another blue" to me. 
Dyesebel is one of the most important Filipino comic book characters in Philippine history. It was originally created by the Filipino illustrator Mars Ravelo. Lucia is the name of Dyesebel's mother. She was obsessed with collecting and gazing at artistic depictions of mermaids while she was pregnant, so the baby (Dyesebel) was born with what looked like a fishtail instead of legs.  Dyesebel's first appearance in the comics was in 1952.
  • Mermaid Green - Sirena - what a mystical green! I love how the color changes as it shades - it's a very blueish mint green and there's definitely some grey in there. I don't see a whole lot of pink showing up but wow, is it ever pretty!
Sirena is an homage to Mars Ravelo's famous Filipino comics Dyesebel about a mermaid. It is one of the most popular local comics that was serialized in 1952. This beautiful mint green has undertones of grey and pink.
  • Blue Floss - Perya - You know how I feel about things named after food, right? Especially cotton candy, which is one of my favorite things. Sweet as heck, but I like how it looks and the color mixture is captivating, and the texture is soft and perfect. This is my favorite of the bunch. I love the yellow/peach and blue. I can see the cotton candy. I can taste the cotton candy.
One of the most beautiful parks in Manila is Luneta Park built in 1820. It is now known as Rizal Park, named after the national hero of the Philippines, Jose Rizal. Very near the pier, many children and adults enjoy blue cotton candy as they stroll along the park. 

  • Violet - Maskara - What a pretty violet! You can see the blue in the shading and boy does it ever shade! It ranges from a light lavender to a violet-blue, and it matches the other three colors in its whimsicality. 
The maskara festival was conceived in part due to the sugarcane crisis in Negros. 1890 was the year the Spaniards split Negros region into two: Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental. These regional divisions remain today. 

They're beautiful in clear pens because they're not super saturated. Inks that shade well usually look fabulous in a clear pen, so obviously these have to go in clear pens. I am discovering I don't have enough clear pens for all my shady inks.

I picked up my selection from Vanness Pens quite some time ago - in fact, I think it was at the DC Pen show in 2019?? WOW. Time has flown, how disturbing. Here's their current selection! No commission, I'm just happy to refer you to them. You can follow Vinta Inks on Facebook & Twitter - @inksbyvinta.

Close up swab of that Blue Floss Perya!

Friday, March 27, 2020

Aurora 88 Saturno Limited Edition Fountain Pen

I purchased this pen from Appelboom some time ago and because I special ordered the double-broad nib, it took a bit more time because they had to send it back to Aurora for a nib swap. I take the pen for a twirl in the video! Enjoy!

Remember you can use the discount code 'friend' for 10% off your purchase at Appelboom! No commission, just a sweet deal for you.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Montblanc James Purdey & Sons Cigar Brown Scented Ink

The Montblanc James Purdey & Sons Cigar Brown Scented ink is the most recent addition to the James Purdey & Sons collection, following the exquisite and highly delectably scented Single Malt Whiskey. If you have not smelled that one, you must.

The Cigar Brown is a classy dark brown ink that shades moderately. It is not super saturated nor is it dilute - it is just somewhere in the middle. It does not really show any sheen - I find the saturated pools of ink end up appearing quite matte. The color is quite clean and pure as far as browns go - it doesn't really lean to the yellow side or red side. It is on the dry side and is quite well-behaved, and is surprisingly easy to clean. The scent is quite mild and leans to the sweeter side, and is inspired by cigars and influenced by the post-hunting ritual (which I know nothing about. I'm just sharing with Montblanc said). It doesn't linger much on the page or in the pen, but it is nice to the nostrils - at least, to mine. It's not overwhelming like many other scented inks are so if you're curious about inks that have something else to them, it's fun to check out. On the downside, at nearly $50USD a bottle, it's certainly a splurge.

As always, I grabbed my (small hoard) of Montblanc James Purdey & Sons Cigar Brown Scented ink from Appelboom. In case you want something there, you can use the discount code 'friend' for 10% off your, unfortunately, non-Montblanc purchases because Montblanc doesn't allow it. I know, this is a Montblanc ink. There are many other things to shop for! Enjoy!

Friday, March 20, 2020

Franklin-Christoph Extra-Fine Steel Flex Nib

Thank you to Franklin-Christoph for sending the steel extra-fine flex nib for me to check out and share with you. It's a fun nib, especially for $25USD. Worth it to add to your collection to give you some more writing options. I really enjoy flexing it to create swirls and flourishes, and it easily works with no pressure to be a "regular" writer. Get yours here!

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

KWZI Sheen Machine - Saturated but Flowy!

There was shimmer, there was shading, and there was sheen! Sheen is that shiny layer on an ink that comes from having a heavily saturated color. The downside to sheen is that, because the ink is so saturated, the flow can be hampered. It can get stuck in your feed and end up gumming up in there. KWZI wanted to create a sheeny ink that would be super saturated enough to give off that radiant glow but still flow well. How did they do? Pretty well. Sheen Machine is a beautiful, deeply saturated blue ink that glows red with ease. You don't really have to use special paper like Tomoe River, a known sheen-finder, and I can attest that it will sheen on almost anything (like my hair, which I one day inadvertently dragged through wet writing. See below!).

Drying times are pretty long, which one can expect with highly saturated inks. I left the ink in my Lamy Safari for weeks and it didn't dry out for quite some time, and it didn't have trouble starting up either, so that's great. Eventually, it will need cleaning and that is not fun. I gave my Safari to a friend to clean and he brought it back a day later with a really distressed look and asked me what the heck I had in the pen. Oops.

It's a really fun ink for popping highlights and writing with flair. I don't use it for writing letters and the such, I more so use it for doodling highlights, banners/flourishes, and fun stuff.

Grab a bottle at Vanness Pens for $15USD! No affiliation, just sending you somewhere to find it!

Friday, March 13, 2020

Waterman Carène Black Sea Fountain Pen

Thank you to Appelboom for loaning me this pretty pen for a review! It's a really nice writer and I really enjoyed it. Hated sending it on to the next reviewer! Check it out at Appelboom!
Use the code 'friend' for 10% off your purchase (excludes Montblanc). No commission, just a sweet deal for you.

I love the Carène model. They are classy, attractive, and write beautifully. Not a bad price, either.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Akkerman Gourmet Pens Pink Ink Looks Fab in the Esterbrook Estie Lilac (100% Unbiased.)

100%. I swear. I have no bias here except for the fact that I picked the ink and I love Akkerman and I love my Lilac and - well, I am biased. That's ok. Just because I'm biased doesn't mean I am wrong!

There's a lot of goodness going on here:

  • The sweet Superior Labor A5 Folio from Wonder Pens, which I bought several years ago and have used constantly ever since. Partially to justify the price to myself, but mostly because it's super convenient and robust. Also, it looks really good in pictures. 
  • The Atelier Musubi Cat notebook, which was gifted to me from the DC Pen Show this year. We literally got there, snagged this (and several others), and I treasure it. I've been making all sorts of plans for it, and whereas I used to be too afraid to use nice notebooks, now I am eager to get in there and enjoy every square inch of it. This particular cover was a special one so there are only a few out there! They're adorable. What's so special about Musubi? This is what they say and I am pretty happy to buy from them!

Built upon the twin pillars of obsessive craftsmanship and an enduring social mission, Musubi is an atelier devoted to the careful, ethical creation of small goods.
Our operations exemplify our philosophy of direct impact:
In Singapore, our bookbinding atelier employs only persons with physical and intellectual disabilities, providing them the employment stability and opportunities they previously lacked.
In Peru, Indonesia, and other countries across the globe, we work with indigenous communities threatened by violence, climate change and political upheaval.
By paying our artisans a fair price for their work, we establish proper infrastructure and employment, ensuring both that traditional craft is not lost to the ages, and that the most vulnerable amongst them — often women and children — have safe places to live and a future to strive for.
The end result: every Musubi creation directly and measurably benefits the least fortunate amongst us. Come along with us as we tell a story with meaning.

  • Live Notes Tomoe River notebook from Pen Gallery - I love Tomoe River. I usually prefer the 52gsm but this notebook is A5 - one of my favorite sizes - and it's so easy to carry around in the Superior Labor folio. Perfect for writing samples. 
  • Esterbrook Esties - you'll see three different ones here, from top to bottom: Estie Regular Lilac, Estie Regular Blueberry, and the Estie Violet Slim. The Slim has a #5 nib, unlike the #6 nib on the Regular and Oversize. I know I say this every time they release a new color, but the Lilac, Violet, and Blueberry are just delicious. 
  • Last but not least, and the most biased part of this is the pink ink. It's my collaboration ink with PW Akkerman in The Hague (the only Akkerman that makes and sells these inks). It comes in the awesome fluted bottle with the nifty marble and it's sexy and I picked the pink. You can get it straight from Akkerman,  Vanness Pens, Lemur Ink, Bookbinders Design, and Laywine's in Canada. 
    • Side note: PWA has have provided a discount code - 10% off using GOURMET10 ⁣⁣(excludes Montblanc, sadly, their Akkerman inks, discounted products, unfortunately)⁣⁣ However. There's a lot of other goodness:

Friday, March 6, 2020

Waldmann Manager Silver Fountain Pen

Thank you to Luxury Brands for loaning me this pen for a review. I'm happy to share some more information about the Waldmann pens and show you how they perform.  Check out the Luxury Brands article where they introduced the line up!  No commission, just a sweet deal for you.

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

A Few Thoughts on the Satchel & Page Padfolio

I was never really the kind of person who used folios, mostly because I favored notebooks so the notepads never held a place. I'm usually quite organized but I am trying to be more professional and classy about it. Satchel & Page designed this exquisite Padfolio that is super classy so I feel super fancy and elegant when I tote this to events, shows, and meets.

The Padfolio is described as
The old-school executive Padfolio, modernized for today. Ideal for meetings and
light daily carry, the Padfolio has a slot for an A4 letter pad as well as a compartment for iPad Pro 12.9"
I don't have an iPad but I do use a Microsoft Surface Go, which fits more easily than a large iPad. I use the Rhodia notepad at workshops and events where I need to look a little more sensible than doodling in my crinkly Tomoe River A5 notebook. Satchel & Page kill it with their leather goods. The design, craftsmanship, and overall look is spot on.

  • Slot for A4 / letter pad (11.75" x 8.5") 
  • Suede lined compartment for iPad Pro 12.9" (2018/2019 version) with smart keyboard case. The tablet compartment fits any tablet with maximum dimensions of 11.7" height x 8.5" width x .5" depth.
  • British tan calfskin lining
  • 2 business card slots and 1 pen slot
  • Open pocket for loose papers or medium sized notebook
  • Fits inside any of our bags with the exception of the Map Case.
  • 12" x 9.5" x 1" / 1.5 lbs
  • Lifetime warranty

I never used to use business card slots until I started doing workshops and realized they were a handy dandy way to keep in touch with new friends (and pass notes). I used to carry around like ten notebooks at a time, I kid you not, and then I realized I was killing my shoulder by toting so much weight when I rarely used more than one notebook. Now I limit myself to ONE notebook and one notepad. I use the notebook for everything - notes, doodles, scribbles, work, world domination plots, and more. This means I actually use the notebook up quicker than having ten separate notebooks, which I find more enjoyable, and it also reduces the weight of what I am carrying. Sure, it's messy, but I like it.

This is not a piece of leather that softens with use. It maintains its form and shape, which is something you want in a writing folio. If this is your cup of tea, it's worth a look. It's not inexpensive at $195USD but what a gift it would be!

I received this item free of charge for the purpose of sharing with you. All opinions are my own. This is not a paid post.

Friday, February 28, 2020

ASC Ogiva Green Saft Pavarotti MagicFlex Nib Handwriting

This Ogiva Green Saft Pavarotti fountain pen was gifted to me a few years ago and it has a really fun "MagicFlex" nib - a common nib you see from The Pen Family/ASC's offerings. They're fun but not true flex nibs, so be careful if that's what you're looking for! Otherwise, have fun and enjoy the spring!

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Montblanc Meisterstück 149 Calligraphy Flex Pen and a More Affordable Option

I still get a lot of questions about the Montblanc Meisterstück 149 Calligraphy Flex Pen. In case you missed it, I have a full video on it, including my thoughts and some writing samples so you can see it in action. I still think it's a great pen. It is not an inexpensive pen, and I am totally surprised and impressed that Montblanc was able to pull this off so well. I'm actually really pleased about it.

The feed is plastic but I do find that with slow and steady writing - and sometimes even rather quick writing - it keeps up quite well. You can check out the writing sample in the video to see what I mean. If you're not willing and/or able to drop nearly $1000 on a fountain pen, fear not. There are reasonable options for fun out there. If you're looking for a far more affordable option, check out the Franklin-Christoph #6 HPS Extra-fine steel nibs. They're $25 and while they won't deliver the same softness, they are a great amount of fun at a fraction of the cost. In fact, for your fountain pen and nib journey, I'd still recommend checking out the Franklin-Christoph flex nib. It'll help shape your fountain pen journey.

Thank you, as always, to the wonderful Appelboom for hooking me up before I even had to tell them I wanted the flex nib. Rockstars.

Friday, February 21, 2020

Benu Tattoo Fountain Pen

Thank you to Benu for sending this nifty fountain pen over! One of the things Benu is doing really well is offering up a truly unique and fun selection of fountain pen designs, and all the pens perform really well. I swear. I have written with over 20 of them and they have all performed without issue, writing reliably, and so far, none have failed me. They come in all sorts of colors and they're superb for gifting especially. Plus they have pretty minimal packaging, which I am a big fan of.

Here's a few places you can grab a Benu pen for yourself:

La Couronne du Comte
Discount code: GOURMET10

Discount code: friend


Pen Chalet
Discount code: GOURMETPENS
This is an affiliate link.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Fun & Simple Flourishing Workshop: Swirls & Twirls at the Baltimore Washington International Pen Show 2020

Come learn some fun and simple swirls and twirls with me! In this workshop, I will teach you some basic flourishes that you can use in your snail mail, in your inky journals, and everywhere for added flair.

Supplies: Please bring your own inked fountain pen(s), pencils, or any other analog writing instrument instrument you feel comfortable with, and a fountain pen friendly notebook/notepad. Tickets are quite limited so don't miss out.

$40 workshop fee. Does not include show admission.


Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Pen Chalet's Leonardo Officina Italiana Exclusive MomentoZero

I reviewed the Pen Chalet exclusive Leonardo Officina Italiana MomentoZero Blue Hawaii Gloss Ruthenium awhile ago and it is now sold out but they now have the Emerald Turquoise version as their current exclusive! I'm a big fan of these pens. I have used quite a few of them and they perform really well. They're also really good looking pens! The Blue Hawaii is one of my favorite finishes to date but the Emerald Turquoise is also mega sexy.

The steel nibs are #6 JoWo nibs. I find these nibs smooth, not too wet, and they are well-tuned, well-adjusted, and great for daily writing. The converter system is clean and easy to use, making it a great candidate for FUN inks! Comfortable in hand, really good looking pens. That's the summary of my video if you don't want to watch it.

Have you tried these pens?

Use discount code GOURMETPENS for 10% off your orders! No commission, just a sweet deal for you.

Friday, February 14, 2020

Montblanc Starwalker Doué 2019 Fountain Pen

Thank you kindly to Appelboom for loaning me this Montblanc Starwalker Doué 2019 Fountain Pen to review and share with you. It has since gone on to the next reviewer. It surprised me. I like the dome on the Starwalker a lot. Check out the collection at Appelboom!

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Toucan Violet Ink Review

Toucan! My favorite thing about these inks is they are safely mixable with each other. I have a few favorites and I like to stick to those because I like lighter colors for putting in my super wet writers - they tend to show off their shading best that way. By the way, they are no longer offered in baggies like you see here. They're glass bottles. Alas, this is the last of the series so we must now wrap up the Toucan ink series. I haven't decided what is next yet, but I hope you found this a fun ink series.
Toucan Violet Ink Review 7
Toucan Violet Ink Review 4
Violet is a pretty purple - soft, shows off a lot of shading, easy to clean. It's happy, cheery, springy, and I like it. It looks great in wet, broad writers because of how well it shades. It's not super saturated but that's ok for ink play.
Toucan Violet Ink Review 8
Toucan Violet Ink Review 1
Toucan Violet Ink Review 2
Toucan Violet Ink Review 3
Toucan Violet Ink Review 5
Toucan Violet Ink Review 6

Friday, February 7, 2020

Waldmann Tuscany Rose Gold Fountain Pen

Thank you to Luxury Brands for loaning me this lovely little pen for a review. I'm happy to share some more information about the Waldmann pens and show you how they perform.

Check out the Luxury Brands article where they introduced the line up!

See them on JetPens!

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Wancher Seven Treasures Fountain Pen on Kickstarter!

Thank you to Wancher for sending this fountain pen - I was asked for my feedback and to share this Kickstarter project with you. I do not receive a commission if you sign up for the Kickstarter.

Friday, January 31, 2020

Leonardo MomentoZero Grande Caraibi Fountain Pen

I'm a big fan of the Leonardo pens in general, and the MomentoZero series is one of my preferred writers. The Grande caught my eye because I thought,  ooooh this looks nifty! What did they change?? Let's take a look!

Grab a Leonardo MomentoZero Grande Caraibi from Stilografica! Use the code below for 10% off your purchase - no commission, just a sweet deal for you.

Discount Code: FLORENCE

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Toucan Umber Ink Review

Toucan! My favorite thing about these inks is they are safely mixable with each other. I have a few favorites and I like to stick to those because I like lighter colors for putting in my super wet writers - they tend to show off their shading best that way. By the way, they are no longer offered in baggies like you see here. They're glass bottles.

Toucan Umber Ink Review 7
Toucan Umber Ink Review 2
Well, I have to say Umber is one of my least favorite inks from the Toucan line up. It's just a plain brown to me. Adding some Scarlet and Primrose/Gold makes it a little more desirable but as it is, it's just bleh to me. Not a big fan.
Toucan Umber Ink Review 8
Toucan Umber Ink Review 1
Toucan Umber Ink Review 3
Toucan Umber Ink Review 4
Toucan Umber Ink Review 5
Toucan Umber Ink Review 6

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Sailor Pro Gear Pen Gallery Durian Musang King Fountain Pen

I purchased this Sailor Pro Gear Pen Gallery Durian Musang King Fountain Pen directly from Pen Gallery. You can get your own here! I love Sailor fountain pens and a YELLOW PEN WITH A ZOOM NIB? Done deal. Enjoy! (Or not, if you hate durians.)

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Toucan Turquoise Ink Review

Toucan! My favorite thing about these inks is they are safely mixable with each other. I have a few favorites and I like to stick to those because I like lighter colors for putting in my super wet writers - they tend to show off their shading best that way. By the way, they are no longer offered in baggies like you see here. They're glass bottles.

Toucan Turquoise Ink Review 7
Toucan Turquoise Ink Review 2
Turquoise is stunning. It is light enough to show off some exquisite shading, it makes me think of caribbean seas again, and I love it. It's easy to clean, easy to work with, and it's well-behaved. Just beautiful. To me, this is an almost perfect turquoise.
Toucan Turquoise Ink Review 8
Toucan Turquoise Ink Review 1
Toucan Turquoise Ink Review 3
Toucan Turquoise Ink Review 4
Toucan Turquoise Ink Review 5
Toucan Turquoise Ink Review 6

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Pelikan M1000 O3B Oblique Triple Broad Serious Nibbage with the Gourmet Pens Modification

This nib is no longer produced by Pelikan but I hope to use this video and your comments and views as a desperate plea to Pelikan to start producing this one again. The O3B or Oblique Triple Broad is a wide, stubby writer. I had mine modified by Toronto Pen Company with the "gourmetpens" modification. Essentially this is a mod that takes whatever nib you have and makes it as broad and as wet as possible. Results vary depending on the starting tipping, but this nib was an ideal candidate. As such, the nibmeister, Salman Khattak, has turned this gusher into, well, a gushing firehose, and I LOVE IT. I hope you enjoy the video. If you haven't, I'd appreciate it so much if you'd like and subscribe to my YouTube channel!

Music: BenSound

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Toucan Sienna Ink Review

Toucan! My favorite thing about these inks is they are safely mixable with each other. I have a few favorites and I like to stick to those because I like lighter colors for putting in my super wet writers - they tend to show off their shading best that way. By the way, they are no longer offered in baggies like you see here. They're glass bottles.

Toucan Sienna Ink Review 7
Toucan Sienna Ink Review 2
This Sienna is a warm, red-brown - a color that I am often attracted to. I picture red earth, rusty water; rich, shaded. I am a big fan. It is not particularly difficult to clean out of pens, either.
Toucan Sienna Ink Review 8
Toucan Sienna Ink Review 1
Toucan Sienna Ink Review 3
Toucan Sienna Ink Review 4
Toucan Sienna Ink Review 5
Toucan Sienna Ink Review 6

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Esterbrook Estie Blueberry Fountain Pen

Thank you to Goldspot Pens for sending this sweetie to me. They range in price, depending on the writing mode and size you want. This particular one I have is $156.00USD. You can find the Estie selection here.

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Toucan Scarlet Ink Review

Toucan! My favorite thing about these inks is they are safely mixable with each other. I have a few favorites and I like to stick to those because I like lighter colors for putting in my super wet writers - they tend to show off their shading best that way. By the way, they are no longer offered in baggies like you see here. They're glass bottles.

Toucan Scarlet Ink Review 7
Toucan Scarlet Ink Review 2
Scarlet is just not the right kind of red for me. I find it boring, bland, a little too washed out. I don't even find it appealing for blending. It also leans to the orange side and if there's anything I don't care for, it's a reddish ink that leans towards orange!
Toucan Scarlet Ink Review 8
Toucan Scarlet Ink Review 1
Toucan Scarlet Ink Review 3
Toucan Scarlet Ink Review 4
Toucan Scarlet Ink Review 5
Toucan Scarlet Ink Review 6

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