Here’s something to brighten a winter’s day. These are the three Pilot Petit pens, one of which is a fountain pen. All three together cost only $10. They fall into my favorite category of writing instrument — fun.
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musing about fountain pens, inks and the like
Today is devoted to two celebrations: a belated Galentine’s Day, plus Valentine’s Day.
And all involving pen stuff.
Not because I’m a total loser. Not just because I’m a total loser. But also because it’s a blog about pen things.
What is Galentine’s Day? Only the most awesome holiday ever. Galentine’s Day started on a television show, Parks and Recreation, when Amy Poehler’s character decided the day before Valentine’s Day should be a day to celebrate female friendship, over brunch. Thus Galentine’s Day.
This should totally be a thing. So I’m going to be the change I want to see in the world: Happy Galentine’s Day.
Except, we need to add a few wrinkles. First, we’re a day late, because it’s me. Second, we’re on the internet, and I’m not a morning person, so that brunch thing isn’t happening. Just pour yourself a cup of coffee, or open a package of cookies or a bottle of wine. I toast you, virtually.
The biggest change is that our Galentine’s Day is open to all, whether a real gal or an honorary gal. If you’re a guy — and you are still reading — then hopefully you’re happy to be one of the gals. Make yourself at home. It’s my internet-only, fake-brunch, day-late, Galentine’s Day, and all are welcome.
I’m not going to shy away from gal-palling here. But I’m also going to assume that honorary gals will be interested, too, if only to see the other side.
Here are some pretty pens that seem fitting for this Galentine’s Day.
These are the Pelikan M600 Pink and the Pelikan M605 White Transparent, and they are the nicest Galentine’s pens ever.
But you know, gals do not just like pink things. In fact, some gals don’t like pink at all. And that is okay. Galentine’s Day is for all. Here’s a green pen I like.
And here are some pens that aren’t very colorful.
Those pens are sober enough even for those guys who don’t qualify as honorary gals.
But you know what? I hate to say it, but, they aren’t really fun enough for our celebration. For today, let’s forget those. They can come back on, say, tax day. A guy day if ever there was one.
Instead, I will grab some fountain pens that are more fun and Galentine’s-appropriate.
One of those is even black, and that one is also owned by a guy I know.
See! Galentine’s Day is all about celebrating your friends, and mine are pretty great.
Now, some might say that my friends have great taste. But that’s not for me to say. Because if I say that, it would be sort of complimenting myself, because of the implication that they also have great taste in friends (me). So I can’t really say that, and still be modest. Apparently. So I’ll just leave it to you gals and guys to say that. Right there, in the comments. Below. At the bottom there.
Okay, have we all left fawning compliments? Good work. So here are some other writing instruments that would work for this special day.
These are the Lamy Safari Pink ballpoint and mechanical pencil. These live on the top of my desk, where my husband can use them. Because they are pink, if he walks away with them, I will track them down, and he’ll have to sheepishly return them to my desk.
This makes a happy contrast with, say, my phone charger.
And speaking of people who are your family but use that to walk off with your things, here’s a small sample of things found today in my daughters’ rooms.
Those are Galentine’s Day-appropriate Field Notes. You’ve been reading me long enough to know that they once were mine. No more. I now buy at least two packs of anything gal-like, for this reason.
I guess that makes every day a Galentine’s Day, and that’s a nice thing. But looking at that photo, I want to suggest, bitterly, that Jailentine’s Day might be more appropriate. That one on the right is fly.
Ah well. I will console myself.
Those are some Safaris I have. I am pretty sure that Fred Astaire was thinking of these in Swing Time when he sang, “Some day, when I’m awfully low / When the world is cold / I will feel a glow just thinking of you / And the way you look tonight.”
And there’s a second verse. So here is a drawer of Al-Stars, too.
This year’s Vibrant Pink will slot in there, too. Some day, when my pen arrives ….
Ah what a pretty picture. I am so glad we could share this Galentine’s Day in pens together.
I was admiring my new pen case the other day, when I decided to compare it to the other pen case I have.
Okay, stop. I fell victim right there to one of the classic blunders. The most famous is “never get involved in a land war in Asia.” But nearly as well-known is “never check your pen things after you’ve bought something new.”
Because, when I pulled out “the other pen case I have,” I found more than one. I actually found pen case after pen case — a clown car of pen cases. At least one of which I swear I’ve never seen before.
Well. Some might ask “how” or “why.” But in the spirit of the age, I’d rather ask, “How can I rebrand a character flaw into something flattering?”
Oscar Wilde is the man for this: “Moderation is a fatal thing, Lady Hunstanton. Nothing succeeds like excess.”
Or the poet William Blake: “the road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom.”
So what if Wilde died in exile after serving prison time, and Blake is synonymous with madness? All that means is that I have the sort of genius in pen-case ownership that isn’t recognized in its own time.
So I shall wisely compare my many pen cases.
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I just got a really nice standup pen case, custom made by Elizabeth Newton, and I want to show you. Because it’s a great case, and it’s a really great value.
Elizabeth hand makes pen wraps and sells them at Liz Newton Designs. Here is a link to her website. I first saw her wraps at the 2017 Chicago Pen Show, but they sold so quickly that I didn’t get one. When she posted a photo of a standup case on Instagram a few days agao, and said they were on sale, I jumped to buy one.
I ordered mine in royal blue and red, the colors of the Chicago Cubs baseball team. A few days later, this beautiful case arrived. It’s called the velcro desktop wrap, and it holds five good-size pens.
The coolest thing is that when you put your pens in the wrap and close it, the case stands up by itself. Wow.
Because many is the morning that I, a human, struggle with that. But here’s this case, made of a soft fabric, in pretty colors, and it stands up on its own. Every single time, without groaning or grabbing its knee or wishing for coffee.
I’m not the most scientific person, but I know how this works. Magic.
I can review this case in two words: It’s awesome. It looks beautiful, and works well. The fabric is attractive and feels nice to the touch: silky rather than stiff or rough. I like that it stands up, because that keeps the pens nib upwards. And I like that it’s easy to open, but also closes securely with the velcro.
And I like how it looks. Go Cubs, Go.
I have a lot of cases, but I probably use pen wraps and pen rolls the most overall, because they are a good combination of light weight and protective. I tend to use pen rolls like this to carry pens in my purse and such, while I save the sturdier cases for when pens need protection from being smushed by a laptop or books or something.
The size of this case seems ideal. Rolled up, it’s compact. But it seems to fit all but the largest pens, and I don’t have pens that large. I know it easily fits pens the size of a Lamy Safari, and a Montblanc LeGrand. I’ve got five pens in there now: Pelikan M600-size pens, a Pelikan M400 size pen, a Montblanc 146 and a Montblanc LeGrand.
In terms of price, it’s a great value, especially now, because Elizabeth is having a promotional sale. The price can vary, depending on whether the fabric you want is regular or a special order. Mine uses a regularly stocked fabric, so it normally costs $20 plus shipping. But because the wrap is on sale right now, mine was $15 plus shipping. Shipping to Chicago cost $3, and took two days.
That’s such a screaming deal, I’m almost embarrassed. A pen wrap that’s hand-crafted and hand-sewn, in the colors you choose, delivered to your door for $18. Even if the case didn’t stand up, that would be a great deal. But. It. Does.
I feel like we all should get one. In fact, I’m thinking of getting another. Maybe blue/yellow, for my alma mater. Maybe brown/light blue, to class things up. Or brown with cream, likewise. Someone suggested orange/black, which would be fun. It could be anything, Even a simple red and pink, for Valentine’s Day, and every day.
The possibilities are endless. But this one is great.