Sunday Notes and Links

Pilot VB with Left Oblique and R&K Scabiosa

This week’s favorite fountain pen and ink combination is my newly inked Pilot Vanishing Point with a left oblique nib and R&K Scabiosa ink. I was looking for a ink to use when writing postcard replies to the contest entrants. Instead of inking multiple pens, which was my first impulse, I picked this combination. Scabiaso is a iron gall ink so it’s perfect for a postcard potentially exposed to the elements, while it has some color. The glossy postcards I have aren’t the best for showing off any fountain pen ink so I’ve been forced to use this combination for regular writing.

Some links of interest…

Diplomat Aero Matt Silver — Informal Scribble // Interesting fountain pen. When I saw the first picture I though it was a ballpoint thanks to the silver on the end of the barrel.

Scrikks NoteLook Notebook Review – Hey there! SBREBrown

The Need To Ink – An Inkophile’s Blog // I can relate

Madrid Pen Show 2015 – Crónicas Estilográficas // To answer the question posed in the first sentence – Yes! because Pen shows are more than just pens. | Leigh Reyes. My Life As a Verb.

My view from the desert: thoughts on my exile from pen buying – A fool with a pen // Very good points

OMAS – canetas e coisas // The clip caught my attention.

Pen Review: Lamy 2000 Stainless Steel – The Pen Habit // I usually can’t resist metal pens, but this one is easy for me to resist. Maybe it’s because I know the price, maybe it’s because I have the Makrolon version and love everything about it.

Recent Acquisitions: Nibs, Nibs, Nibs – A Penchant for Paper

The Pilot Metropolitan Retro Pop: A Review — The Pen Addict

Edison Pearlette – The Passionate Penman

Review: Pilot Custom 74 – KurleyMcD // Good review that also demonstrates why I prefer reviews after a pen has been used for a couple months, or more.

Check out all of this week’s links at Fountain Pen Links. If you’re looking for information about a specific pen or ink be sure to visit Pennquod.

Gift Guides

Ugly Sweater Retro 51 and Field Notes Workshop Companion Gardening

I’m not a huge fan of holiday gift guides. On he other hand they do provide fodder for blogs that have been silent more often than they should.

The Pen Addict Podcast had their gift guide episode which I enjoyed a lot.

I think it was Ana (from The Well Appointed Desk) who mentioned splitting up a Field Notes package as a gift. I don’t know many people who would appreciate a Field Notes subscription or even a three pack, but last year I split apart a Workshop Companion Edition and gave individual books to people who would appreciate the theme.

While not a fountain pen, I agree with the recommendation of a Retro 51 as a introduction to nice pens. You can find many of the regular Retro 51 Tornados in many office and stationery stores. Goldspot Pens has a Coffee Themed Retro 51 for the coffee fanatic on your list. This is a Goldspot exclusive, but not a limited edition. Unfortunately it may not arrive before Christmas, Anderson Pens has a TeraByte Tornado for the computer geek on your list. This year’s holiday Retro 51 doesn’t do much for me but others on your list may like it and it’s probably more appropriate for year round use than the last year’s ugly sweater holiday pen (pictured above). This is a limited edition but with a relatively large run of 1,225 pens.

They also mentioned Dudek Modern Goods which I whole heartily endorse. I have several of his pen holders and wouldn’t hesitate to give one to anyone on my list that needs pen storage. Since they are hand made they aren’t a last minute gift and the website gives December 1st as the last order date to be sure of Christmas delivery.

Brad mentioned Keep Fresh, Stay Rad postcards from Princeton Architectural Press. I already bought a box, but for me not a gift. (Self gifting?) Unfortunately I already but some Connecticut themed (my home state) postcards and will run through those before I get to the these.

I don’t propose giving a fountain pen to a non-fountain pen user just because you like them and hope they will. But if you know someone that is interested in a good fountain pen, Ana matched up the Pilot Retro Pop Metropolitan with inks. She also recommends a matching Rhodiarama notebook. I think the Pilot Metropolitan is a great gift or first pen since the quality is high. I would add a recommendation to get a box of Pilot ink cartridges in case the person may not want to fiddle with bottled ink all the time or don’t want to use the colored ink. Unfortunately they are proprietary cartridges.

I often see a Lamy Safari recommended as a gift. I wouldn’t recommend it as a first fountain pen since some people don’t like the grip, plus I’ve found the nibs to be inconsistent.

Ed Jelley has published his gift guide which I would consider more traditional and, unlike the Pen Addict list, targeted to fountain pen users as the recipient.

If you’re into giving matched sets, Goulet Pens has put together 10 of them, each with a theme and a discount for the package.

Here in the U.S. the holiday shopping season kicks off in full force with tomorrows Thanksgiving holiday. I’ll be sitting home enjoying my fountain pens, rather than fighting the crowds. But if you’ll be shopping the Pen Addict, Well-Appointed Desk, Ed Jelley and Goulet Pens have good lists to get you going.

Giveaway Reminder & Happy Thanksgiving

Current giveaway entries

There’s less than a week left to get your giveaway entry in. It’s probably too late (but maybe not) for those outside the US to get their entry in by Monday, but there’s still time for those in the US. I’ve received 27 entries so far, seven of them from outside the US.

I’ve been bad and have yet to rad any of the entries but plan to do so in the next few days. I also got some postcards and plan to send a reply back to you all. Postcards are small, but it’s more than I usually do and hopefully it’ll be a stepping stone to full blown letters.

To those of you in the US (or anywhere else that celebrates it) – Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday Notes and Links

No favorite pen and ink this week, right to the links…

Fountain Pen Review: Carolina Pen Company Charleston – The Pen Habit // A nice, conservative custom fountain pen

Review: Baron Fig Apprentice — nib & ink // I’ve never used a Baron Fig notebook. I’ve been turned off by the philosophical bent to their marketing while lacking specifics, as mentioned in this review.

Baron Fig Special Edition 2016 Confidant Planner – Inktronics // Another Baron Fig review, this time a planner.

New Tricks: Write Notepads & Co. Pocket Notebooks – From the Pen Cup // A nice looking pocket notebook, to bad I don’t need yet another pocket notebook.

Travelers Company Caravan – // A story worth reading

Currently inked – Inkstained Nib // I always enjoy seeing what people are using.

In Praise of my Completed Rhodia Notepad – A Penchant for Paper // I’m more impressed by all the pages being torn off but saved for posterity

Ipoh and Kuala Sepetang – Part 1 of 4 – Francis THEO // Be sure to check out all the sketches in the series.

Agendio: A New Planner System – The Well-Appointed Desk // I usually ignore custom planners due to their cost. I’ll be spending some time today putting together and ordering one of these.

OMAS Extra Lucens and Lucens Fountain Pen Review – THE UNROYAL WARRANT – // Some nice looking vintage Italians

Forest Choice Medium Flex Notebook Review – Pens! Paper! Pencils! // No surprise that a pencil company’s notebooks aren’t fountain pen friendly.

Review: FPR Indus — Alt. Haven // Another affordable piston filler. Is it worth it? Read the review.

Montblanc has a problem — Pen Economics // A long but interesting read.

Our 2nd Anniversary! – Anderson Pens // Happy Anniversary! Who said B&M pen & stationery stores are a vanishing breed?

Check out all of this week’s links at Fountain Pen Links. If you’re looking for information about a specific pen or ink be sure to visit Pennquod.

Sunday Notes and Links


This week’s favorite fountain pen and ink combination is my Pilot Custom 823 with Pelikan Blue-Black ink. I’ve written most of my pens dry this month and the Pilot Custom 823 is one of the few left with ink. (For me, six is a few, especially when half of them are desk-bound). It’s one of those pens that does everything right except being a colored demonstrator which I dislike. This one fault keeps me from using it, but when I do use it I realize it’s one of the best writing pens that I have. If this pen was solid black, with rhodium trim I might never put it down.

If you missed it, I’m running a giveaway. It runs to the end of the month but getting your entry in will take time, so don’t wait too long. I expected all my readers to already have a fountain pen. I was wrong so I updated the rules to allow them to enter. If you don’t already have a fountain pen check the post for what you need to do to enter.

Some links of interest…

I say NO to Shimmertastic Inks — TooManyInks // Me too. Especially for the third & fourth reasons.

Fountain Pen Revolution Nib Shootout – Hey there! SBREBrown // Worth viewing if you’re interested in FPR pens.

Pen Review: Pelikan M205 Amethyst – The Pen Habit // A nice looking pen. Lucky for there’s enough that I don’t like so I’m not tempted.

Why I use fountain pens – inkstainednib // First post from a new pen blog. Be sure the check out the reviews that have been done.

RECAP: A VISIT TO CONID – The Pencilcase Blog // A nice behind the scenes look.

Fountain Pen Filling Systems – My Pen Needs Ink

Hiroshi’s Pilot – Crónicas Estilográficas

Review: Faber-Castell Basic leather edition — Alt. Haven

Pilot Kakuno Review — The Finer Point

Introducing: The Spreadsheet – // I found a spreadsheet didn’t work for me, but if you think it will work for you then this is a good start.

Pen Review: The Scriptorium Balladeer — The Gentleman Stationer

November Pens And Inks – An Inkophile’s Blog

Check out all of this week’s links at Fountain Pen Links. If you’re looking for information about a specific pen or ink be sure to visit Pennquod.