Fountain Pen Favorites for January 2017

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January is over? How did that happen? Well, swiftly, I guess. In terms of pens and inks, January wasn’t particularly notable for me. But if I dredge, I can dig up some highlights.

1. Ink Dips. I liked the first two, Sailor Something Something and Pelikan Edelstein Onyx. Oh, yes, Sailor Oku-Yama. Details … poof. The mind is the first thing to go. Or maybe vision. Possibly hearing. What was I saying?

2. Yellow Journalism. I wrote in my new journal pretty consistently. Not every day, but almost. So it’s becoming a habit, which is nice. Unfortunately, I have written 96 pages since Christmas, which is going to be financially ruinous; these things are costly. I’m going back to a Rhodia Webnotebook when I fill my Nanami Writer, to see if the type of journal makes a difference or not.

3.  Hmm, a Rant. Yeah, um, well, hard to think of a third highlight, to be honest. I liked the inks I used this month. Pens were pretty calm for me — there is not much happening here in pens. Actually, I dislike something. I am not in favor of the newly announced 2017 Lamy Safari color, which is “Petrol,” which is the German word for “Teal.” I can’t even pretend to care about this Safari. Especially when the 2017 Al-Star is already an aquamarine called Pacific.

It seems I’ve gone off Lamy. After so many years of the neons and the greens and the greenish yellows, now in 2107 we’re getting not one, but two, blue greens. That’s not what I’d call progress.

I’ve lost faith in Lamy, or interest, or both. I don’t know if the string of similar colors is due to lack of imagination, cost-consciousness or trying to profit off an influx of newbie buyers with no apparent discernment (given the prices they’ll pay for counterfeits). But whatever the cause, I don’t care. I’m bored with the result. It seems cheap and cynical, and worst of all dull, by Lamy.

Yes, I am now completely unexcited about Lamy Safaris. And I used to be their biggest fan.

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Photo by Dafne Cholet, Flickr, used under Creative Commons license.

Fountain Pen Favorites for November 2016

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November 2016 kicked off with the best World Series in 108 years, for a Cubs fan. And when it came to fountain pens and ink, the rest of the month was pretty darn good, too. Here are my fountain pen highlights.

1. Sheaffer Targa Green Moiré. The grand slam.

2. Some Great Inks. Montblanc Golden Yellow, a new KWZ, Bung Box Sweet Potato Purple, Bung Box Dandyism. Wow. And if the rain ever stops here, I’ll be able to take photos.

3. Columbus, Ohio. I had a great time at the Ohio Pen Show. I’ll list some favorite things. First, being able to consult Richard Binder, Ron Zorn and Dan Smith. Also, Tim Hofmann’s coffee. Hanging out with friends. The pho restaurant. Robert Mason Co. And above all, the nice people of Columbus and Ohio State. Thinking of you today, Columbus.

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Photo by Dafne Cholet, Flickr, used under Creative Commons license.

Fountain Pen Favorites for October 2016

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October has been awesome, but also has passed a blurry haze. Fountain pens and inks are all very nice. But baseball playoffs have been the bomb. So it’s a little surprising to look back and realize that October was full of fountain pen highlights. This is practically the World Series of Fountain Pen Favorites.

1.  Sailor Kin-Mokusei. A gorgeous orange.

2. Sailor Waka-Uguisu. A great yellow-green. And I don’t even like green.

3. Kaweco Light Blue AL-Sport. Icy blue; I love it.

4. Field Notes. My Field Notes box runneth over. Literally. My daughters did steal ask for some of my new orange and pink ones, which I shared with unworthy mixed feelings understandable mixed feelings. But I’m still flush with Field Notes. I better go write some things down. Like, how to be a better mother. You know, for next month.

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Photo by Dafne Cholet, Flickr, used under Creative Commons license.

Fountain Pen Favorites for September 2016

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This was a great month for fountain pens and ink for me.

1. Kaweco Traveller Case. This little case worked its way into my heart, moving from curiosity to essential. Some prefer large cases, but not me. Sized for Kaweco pens, the Traveller fits small and standard-size fountain pens. It carries six of those, plus extras, but easily slips into purse or briefcase. That meant I started carrying multiple fountains for the first time. The price is a splurge, but the quality seems high.

2.  Platinum Classic Maki-e. I fell for this, too. To keep the cost down, the maki-e on this pen starts with screen-printing, but it didn’t look or feel like a compromise to me or anyone else who tried it. It’s an attractive pen with a great nib at a great price. And it’s a maki-e pen that you don’t need to fuss over.

3.   Pelikan Hub. That was lots of fun, meeting other Pelikan fans and trying other fountain pens and inks. Kudos to Pelikan for bringing people together. And thanks for the Pelikan Edelstein Aquamarine. If you get a chance to go next year, I recommend it.
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Photo by Dafne Cholet, Flickr, used under Creative Commons license.

Fountain Pen Favorites for August 2016

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Think of a middling movie franchise. The first movie does well, so they come up with a sequel, which isn’t exactly good, but sells enough tickets, so they can’t resist slapping together a third. Which is just chum. And that was my August — the Jurassic Park III of months.

But hey, Laura Dern and Sam Neill were in Jurassic Park III. Nothing is irredeemable. So let’s focus on the bright side of August.

1. Weather. It did not rain every minute of every day. Okay, nearly. But there were a few minutes where you could see the sun still existed. Bonus points: no need to worry about a beach body. And I found some very water-resistant inks.

2. Pen Shows. Many people I know had fun at pen shows in August. Not me, but I lived vicariously. And I was lucky because a very sweet friend brought me back a present from DC. I hope you either went to a pen show in August, or got something nice.

3. Inks. I loved my August inks. There wasn’t a “meh” ink in the bunch for me. The new-to-me inks were simply wonderful: KWZ Thief’s Red, KWZ Rotten Green, Graf von Faber-Castell Cobalt Blue, Kaweco Sunrise Orange, Kaweco Smokey Grey, and J. Herbin 1670 Caroube de Chypre. I could be happy with just those. That was a real light in August.

 

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Photo by Dafne Cholet, Flickr, used under Creative Commons license.

Fountain Pen Favorites for July 2016

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This July was not my favorite month ever, in either fountain pens or real life. In fact, if this July were a movie, it would get one star from me. But even the worst movies have highlights (or else how could anyone make a trailer?). So let’s focus on the positives and put together a trailer for July 2016.

1. Montblanc Shakespeare Ink. The leading man. I love this ink. Of course I was primed to love it: a red ink, from Montblanc, named after Shakespeare. Hearing that this ink existed was, for me, like hearing Matt Damon was making a new Jason Bourne movie. I’m in. And Montblanc Shakespeare ink did not disappoint.

2. KWZ Thief’s Red Ink. I love this one, too. Partially because of its great red color, and partially because of its name. And sure: partially because it’s not blue. But because our movie has some thought-provoking moments, too, I’ll mention that KWZ Thief’s Red also reminded me not to overlook inks that don’t happen to have a great name.

3. Two Empty Ink Bottles. Emptied, really. There was so little ink left in Pelikan Edelstein Topaz or in J. Herbin Bleu Nuit that I’ve transferred what little remains to sample vials. I’ll miss having these two inks around. But a blue ink I like has the approximate life expectancy of anyone in the Jason Bourne movie series not named Jason Bourne.

Fountain Pen Favorites for June 2016

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June meant beautiful weather, and great pens and inks. Unfortunately the last week for me was taken over by non-pen things. So it’s a treat to look back at the pen things.

1.  Aurora Optima 360 Monviso. Of course this beautiful pen is June’s number one highlight. This is my big purchase, probably for the year. Unless Pelikan strikes again. But ending the year with the Monviso would be just fine.  It’s a great-looking pen, with a great-writing stub.

2. Montblanc BMW ink. Montblanc BMW ink is such a nice blue. And yet as far as I can tell, Montblanc isn’t selling it through the usual US dealers. That’s a shame. Hopefully that will change.

3. Parker Penman Sapphire. It’s true. Parker Penman Sapphire really is the top — the Coliseum, the Louvre museum, a Shakespeare sonnet and a Bendel bonnet. It really is all that. Just a beautiful blue ink. Alas, no longer available.

4. Fountain pen friends. I just happen to owe all of those good June experiences to friends. I’m pretty lucky.

 

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Photo by Dafne Cholet, Flickr, used under Creative Commons license.

Fountain Pen Favorites for May 2016

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May is always beautiful here and has always been my favorite month. This past week has been especially lovely in the garden, which is suffused with the lemony scent of older roses in bloom. And, yes, there have been pens and inks. Here were my favorites for May.

1. Pelikan M205 Transparent Blue. So you know how sometimes when you really look forward to something, it turns out to be a little disappointing once you actually have it? Well, that didn’t happen with the M205 Blue. I like it even more in person. Oh sure, the nib will never be for me, and the pen’s a little skimpy. But it’s such a pretty blue, and if it were perfect I’d only have to get rid of all my other pens anyway. Win-win, I’d say.

2.Boxing Out. May brought the best box for my Aurora Optimas ever. Not only does that gorgeous thing cradle the little fellows in plush comfort. Not only does it have ten (10!) empty slots that eventually I get to fill. But it also means my Aurora Optimas aren’t in the regular pen case any more, creating the erroneous but deeply satisfying impression that “I haven’t got that many pens after all.”

3. New Pen Evaluation Process. I have finally come up with a workable three-step system to analyze and evaluate matters when I want a new pen. It goes like this: (1) Don’t. (2) Don’t. (3) Don’t.

So far so good.

 

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Photo by Dafne Cholet, Flickr, used under Creative Commons license.

Fountain Pen Favorites for April 2016

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April was indeed the cruellest month around here. The weather was drear, everyone caught and recaught colds, and friends had stuff to deal with. But it’s all over now, baby blue. So we’ll scratch our metaphorical match and start anew.

The good news is that I’ve finally shaken off my post-pen show cold. And the other good news is that, at least in terms of fountain pens and inks, April actually had some nice highlights.

1. Chicago Pen Show. Four full days. Lots of fun. I bought some great things. And I have a lot of pens on the wishlist now. One pen actually made the buy list. I just have to wait for it to be released. Patience is one of the virtues I really need to work on.

2. Venvstas Carbon T. I do like my new pen.

3. Box o’ Stuff.  In the midst of cruel April, a box of pens and ink landed on my doorstop. The only thing I’ve taken out that box, so far, is the Dark Lilac Lamy Safari and ink. But there’s much better inside. I’ll look forward to those.

 

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Photo by Dafne Cholet, Flickr, used under Creative Commons license.

Fountain Pen Favorites for March 2016

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Okay, we’re already into April, but just because March is in the rear view mirror, metaphorically, doesn’t mean we can’t pump the brakes and look back for a few seconds. Here were my fountain pen favorites for March.

1. KWZ Red #1. This is going to be a favorite for a long time.

2. Spring inks. The weather is warmer, and I’ve brought out the lighter, brighter inks once more.  I love them. Especially Caran d’Ache Delicate Green. Also fun: Pink Week.

3. Pelikan M205 Transparent Blue. Faithful readers know how strong my resolve is and how firmly I resist temptation. So there’s absolutely no reason ever to think that I’d order this pen.  But, hey, is that a cute kitten over there?  We should all look at that cute kitten.

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Photo by Dafne Cholet, Flickr, used under Creative Commons license.