Lamy Safari Your Team: A Totally Made-Up Thing That I Do, As an Adult

Sports Lamy Safaris Cubs Blackhawks Oilers colors

After an almost interminable wait, the NHL started the 2017-2018 regular season last night, though it’s only tonight that the Best Team Ever (the Chicago Blackhawks) will drop the puck. Go Hawks.

Then, tomorrow, the defending World Series Champions of 2016, “Ladies and Gentlemen, your Chicago Cubs,” will kick off their National League Division Series against the Washington Generals. Or is that the Nationals? (Hahaha, sick burn.)

Faithful readers may remember that last year, as the Cubs began the World Series after a record-breaking 108 year drought, we here in the Fountain Pen Follies World Headquarters and Television Control Tower made a Cubs Lamy Safari for good luck. It was constructed from the body and section of a blue Safari and the cap of a white Safari with red clip, and was filled with J. Herbin Lierre Sauvage for the green ivy of Wrigley Field.

Now, I am not saying it’s the Chicago Cubs Safari that was responsible for the Cubs improbable seventh game, rain-delayed, extra-innings, curse-breaking victory after 108 years. But it might have been, right? A baseball fan in general, and a Cubs fan in particular, is superstitious. So I’m putting the Cubs Safari back in action today.

Sports Lamy Safaris Chicago Cubs colors

This time, of course, it’s filled with Papier Plume Ivy 108, the Cubs green ink. Go Cubs, Go. And thanks for a great year.

But then, I felt a little bad, because I was leaving out the Best Team Ever (the Chicago Blackhawks). So I pulled out a few more Safaris, in red, black and white, and fashioned a Chicago Blackhawks Safari. It’s filled with Caran d’Ache Infra Red ink.

Sports Lamy Safaris Chicago Blackhawks colors

And then, well, I actually like almost every hockey team, because I’m a mom that way. So why not make one for my second favorite hockey team, the Edmonton Oilers? Parts of a blue, orange and white Safari did the trick. This is filled with KWZ Northern Twilight, in tribute to Canada.

Sports Lamy Safaris Edmonton Oilers colors

All sports teams have home and away sweaters, so I snuck in white on the sections of the Blackhawks and Oilers pens to represent the road jersey.

Sports Lamy Safaris Blackhawks Oilers colors

That photo is a metaphorical representation of both teams rocketing to the top of the standings, where I see them playing in the Western Conference championship. Where the Oilers unfortunately must fall to the Blackhawks, so the mighty Hawks can win the Stanley Cup again. So that’s a shame, but it’s great just to get that far, and maybe next year, Oilers.

And you know what? Anyone can play this! Are you a fan of the Pittsburgh Penguins, defending champions? Here you go.

Sports Lamy Safaris Penguins Bruins colors

That same yellow and black color works for the Boston Bruins, too.

And what about the enemy of the Penguins, the Philadelphia Flyers? I’ve got you covered.

Sports Lamy Safaris Flyers colors

(Obviously, the Flyers ink would be Skrip Red, because of their Broad Street Bullies history.)

The combinations are endless. So I say onto all, try it. It’s fun. Lamy Safari Your Team!

(That Oilers one could double for the Chicago Bears football team, for instance, except, hahaha the Bears don’t deserve a Lamy Safari. Maybe a Bic. That someone stepped on in the hallway.)

I also will just drop here the teensy weensy reminder that, although October is the home of both the baseball playoffs and the start of the hockey season, we’ve heard nary a hint of  #Trophtober. Nor #Hocktober. Because sports have dignity.

Dignity, the watchword of Fountain Pen Follies. Now please excuse me, I need to go play with my Lamy Safaris, yell at the tv screen and pound some nachos.

Ink Snippet: KWZ Chicago Blue

KWZ Chicago Blue writing sample

KWZ Chicago Blue. As you may know, Fountain Pen Follies serves not only as chief cook and bottle washer here, but also as de facto head of the Department of Inky Mysteries for the Chicago Pen Show.

Our show is lucky enough to welcome two gorgeous limited edition inks from Papier Plume this year, namely Lake Michigan Summer and Ivy 108. But, because I always try to find excuses to intone this, “There is another.” That is Chicago Blue from KWZ Ink.

You may have heard that the Chicago Cubs baseball team winning the World Series this past November, after 108 years of futility? Well, we at the Pen Show made a solemn vow that if the Cubs won, we’d celebrate with a special ink for the show.

KWZ Chicago Blue for 2017 Chicago Pen Show

We wanted a blue that would be strong, bright and celebratory. That would write well and look great on paper, and do the city proud. It’s blue for the Cubs, and the Bears and the Fighting Illini, for the L’s Blue Line, and for the Chicago Blues. For the blue bikes we used to ride when we were kids, when Schwinn made the Sting-Ray right here.

KWZ Inks are made by Konrad Wojciech Żurawski and his wife Agnieszka Żurawska. I want to take a look behind the scenes at KWZ Ink at some point, but for now, just know that they handcrafted this ink themselves, from the initial recipe, to the mixing and making of the ink, to its bottling and shipping. They usually even swab each individual bottle label themselves. Since Chicago Blue has a printed label — which Agnieszka drew — there’s a hand-written note in every single bottle.

KWZ Chicago Blue for 2017 Chicago Pen Show

KWZ hit it out of the park with this ink. It shades, it sheens, it’s a beautiful color. It’s exclusive to the Chicago Pen Show, May 4-7, 2017. I know not all of my readers can go, but … you should! No, I know some people just can’t get here that weekend. Hopefully a friend is going and can snag you a bottle of Chicago Blue.

Ink Snippet: Papier Plume Ivy 108

Papier Plume Ivy 108 writing samples

Papier Plume Ivy 108. This green ink was crafted by Papier Plume of New Orleans to celebrate the Chicago Cubs winning the World Series, and I think it’s a great green, worthy of the that lofty achievement.

Ivy 108 is one of two special small-batch inks Papier Plume is bringing to the 2017 Chicago Pen Show next month.

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Two Special Papier Plume Inks: Bringing New Orleans to the Chicago Pen Show with Ivy 108 and Lake Michigan Summer

The cities of Chicago and New Orleans have always had a close connection, especially musically. This song was written by a Chicagoan, Steve Goodman, about a train that still runs between Chicago and New Orleans.

So it’s especially fitting that Papier Plume, the New Orleans fountain pen and ink store, is bringing two special edition inks for the 2017 Chicago Pen Show. These handmade inks are very limited — only 60 bottles each — and will be available from Papier Plume at the show, starting Friday, May 5.

Photos of the Chicago inks are on the next page, and I’ll put up reviews and more photos in the coming days.

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A Peek at the Pen Cup: Dazed and Distracted Edition

pen cup with fountain pens

You know what I like? I like the reflection of the window in the cap medallion of that Lamy Safari.

My pen cup is reasonably full again, but it’s mostly full with pens I’ve already talked about. Pens of the past. I really haven’t had the time or the oomph to think about new things. My brain is just overstuffed. We’ve had two big family birthdays in the past week, while work has been crushing. Then there’s been baseball to watch.

At first nervously, then merrily. The Cubs did the nearly unbelievable, winning the pennant for the first time in 71 years. Thus ending the failure and futility that has been Cubs fandom for longer than my lifetime. It’s like when you come out of a movie theater into the blinding sun: everything looks nice and bright, but you do have to reorient.

pen cup with fountain pens

So about pens, I can’t really say I’ve spent too much time thinking about them.

Looking at the pen cup, there are a lot of Lamy Safaris and Pelikans, and a few Kawecos. All good. But I’m going to have to clean out some of these pens of the past and try some different pens and inks. Once baseball releases its hold on my brain.

Maybe that will happen during the Ohio Pen Show. Or when the new Pelikan M405 Stresemann comes in — that intrigues me.

If only they had a Pelikan M605 Stressedwoman — now that would be my pen. It would be hot pink, or maybe orange, and it would come with a giant coffee mug.

Lamy Safari: The Chicago Cubs Version

Go Cubs Lamy Safari modification

We do what we can, here at Fountain Pen Follies, to cheer on our favorite baseball team. And this year has been magical. On Saturday night, the Chicago Cubs baseball team won the pennant for the first time in 71 years. Tonight they will play in the World Series, for the first time in 108 years. What in the fountain pen world can commemorate that? How about a Chicago Cubs Lamy Safari.

Cubs colors are blue and red with white, and a baseball is white with red stitching.  My Chicago Cubs edition Safari is made from the cap of a white and red Safari, and the body of a blue Safari.

Go Cubs Lamy Safari modification

It’s inked with J. Herbin Lierre Sauvage (“Wild Ivy”), in tribute to the ivy-covered walls of Wrigley Field, the Cubs home park.

Go Cubs, go. And thanks for a great year.

Pen of the Day: Venvstas 77 “Chicago”

Venvstas 77 "Chicago" fountain pen and J. Herbin Lierre Sauvage

Venvstas 77 “Chicago” with medium nib. Sadly, this Venvstas isn’t mine. But happily, Venvstas has made this special edition 77 just for next week’s Chicago Pen Show. The Chicago 77 will be available as a demo at the show, and one lucky person will win it.

This 77 has a two-dimensional glossy carbon fiber body and polished stainless steel trim. I’ll put together a review soon, but spoiler alert, I like it. The medium nib is especially nice.

Venvstas 77 "Chicago" fountain pen and J. Herbin Lierre Sauvage

It’s spring here, but unseasonably cold and blustery. Nonetheless, it was the green grass of spring that inspired me to ink the Chicago 77 with J. Herbin Lierre Sauvage. And it’s perfect. It reminds me of Wrigley Field, the most Chicago place of all.

J. Herbin Lierre Sauvage writing sample

So, It Really Could Be the End of the World Now?


I read the other day that the Chicago Cubs are the heavy preseason favorites to win Major League’s Baseball’s World Series in 2016.  This is serious.

I’ve mentioned that I grew up a Cubs fan. That is not a prudent thing to be. The Cubs have the longest record of championship futility in American professional sports.  I grew up watching Cubs teams lose. Every single year. Some bad teams, yes, but also some good teams that still managed to claw defeat from the jaws of victory. Every. Single. Year.  I’ve been there, done that and I do actually have the tee shirt.

The idea that people would bet real money on the Cubs winning the World Series this year, at only 4-1 odds, is perhaps not technically crazy. One team will win, and there are only 30 teams. But are the Cubs at 4-1 a good bet?

I’m not saying, I’m just saying.

Well, if these are the end of days, at least I have enough ink.