It’s October! The mornings and evenings are finally cool. The leaves are starting to change color. And Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte is back! I just couldn’t resist pulling out some fabulous fall fountain pens and inks to use this month.
Inked this Month
Coffee of the Month
Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte, of course.
Let’s Go Shopping
The British Pound is quite low against the Dollar. Now is a great time to grab a Pelikan or the Diamine Deep Dark Inks from Cult Pens. I know I did!
Life moves faster
than the speed
The desire to write
is often stronger
than than the writing
The use of pen and ink
-Dr. Pat Hannon
TWSBI Eco 1.1
I picked up four bottles of ink at the Atlanta Pen Show bash.
From Anderson Pens I bought Lamy Copper Orange with a Copper Orange Lamy Al Star.
I also bought three ink bottles from Vanness Pen Shop: Monteverde Blue-Black, Monteverde Brown, and Conway Stewart Tavy. I was browsing the specialty inks Vanness carries (Akkerman, Bung Box) when I discovered these at a can’t pass up discount, even though I wasn’t sure what I was getting.
Perhaps I’ll do a full review of these inks, eventually. In the mean time, here’s an ink teaser on the fabulous Nock Co Black DotDash Pocket Notebook.
I really like Conway Stewart Tavy. Too bad it’s a discontinued ink. I hear it is quite similar to Diamine Denim. Can anyone confirm?
It’s been 10 days since the 2015 Atlanta Pen Show. Finally, here’s the official Pens ‘n’ Coffee report.
I’ve had the Atlanta Pen Show on my calendar for a year. Last year Brad hosted a small soiree at the show. Upon hearing him share about this experience I did two things. I checked for a pen show in Charlotte. Not finding one, I placed the Atlanta show on my calendar. Who knew that things would heat up as they did. Brad’s soiree turned into a full blown bash (a #sassafling even). I backed the Pen Addict Kickstarter and knew I had to attend.
However, driving three hours to look at pens sounds fabulous when it’s months away. The week of the show gives a different view. It was a very busy week. Could I squeeze in the trip? I tried to convince my daughters to skip school on Friday to go to the show. They choose school. (Is this a parenting win or a parenting fail?) I nearly attended on my own on Friday, which would allow me some time at the Big Party before I made the drive home. The final decision? Get up early on Saturday, throw the Hannon 5 in a minivan, make the 3 hour trip to Atlanta, look at pens for a while, and make the 3 hour trip home. Crazy? Possibly.
Finally, we arrived at the show, the first pen show for our family. Holy pen show, Batman! Sensory overload! Pens! Ink! Paper! People! Yes, it was crazy. Crazy awesome!
Someone recommended making a lap around the show and viewing everything before settling in and making purchases. I tried to do that, but it was hard. We couldn’t even get past the hallway. Lovely pens everywhere. The kids were almost as excited as I was. And of course, there was two rooms full of venders as well, selling most anything pen related you could imagine. Vintage pens, modern pens. Ballpoint pens, fountain pens. Pen parts. Cheap pens ($3), expensive pens ($1,000+). Ink and paper, oh my.
We loved seeing and touching all the different options. I handled many pens that I had only seen online before. Pilot Vanishing Points and Lamy 2000s are on my wishlist now, when before I considered them just too darn expensive. (This is certainly a danger of going to a show.)
As wonderful as all the products were, the people were even better. Vendors were eager to chat, sharing about their pens, eager to teach onlookers whether or not a sale seemed promising. Meeting people I only knew from the interwebs was worth the drive.
Brad Dowdy and Myke Hulry from the Pen Addict Podcast were the rockstars of the show. Still they took time to engage with everyone. It was great to talk with them. Brad chatted like we were old friends, even though I doubt he even knew me from online.
It was also a treat to meet Brian and Lisa Anderson from Anderson Pens. Great people with a great shop! And Lisa Vanness from Vanness Pen Shop. And Jeff “The Beard” Bruckwicki from NockCo. And Dan Bishop from Karas Kustoms. And…
People didn’t only shop, we shared – pens, ink, and life. I’m pretty sure I sold some Field Notes to a sweet lady who had never heard of the brand and a TWSBI USA to someone else. Two of us randomly shared our Muji Aluminum Fountain Pens with Myke Hurly and discussed converters that fit (Retro 51 does).
So, what did I buy among all this awesomeness?
- The new FodderstackXL and Dot Dash Notebooks with improved fountian pen friendly paper from Nock Co. Also see my Nock Co sticker, soon to go on my MacBook.
- The Limited Edition 2015 Lamy Al-Star in Copper Orange with a bottle of Lamy Copper Orange ink and a Pilot Plumix from Anderson Pens.
- 3 half price bottles of ink from Vanness Pens Shop: Monteverde Blue-Black, Monteverde Brown, and Conway Stewart Tavy.
- And, somewhere along the way, a Pilot Varsity.
Among all this, the highlight of the day was experiencing the kids excitement. They looked and looked. Several vendors gave each of them a free pen. They also each picked out their own Pilot Varsity. Lisa Anderson made their day truly special. She sent the kids on a scavenger hunt, looking for things you can only find at a pen show. When the kids had their scavenger hunt cards filled up by other vendors, Lisa gave each one a free pen and a bag crazy full of cartridges. Such joy!
When it fas finally time to go find some pizza and make the 3 hour trek home, the kids were begging to come back next year. You can count on it! And I may have let it slip that there is a Pen Show in Raleigh in May…
By the way, my wife isn’t in any pictures because she spent most of the day in the corner reading. She loved it!
St. Patrick’s Day is kind of a big deal around my place. So, here are my tools for the day. Since there’s way more here than I can use today, I’ll be pulling from these all week.
- Parker 21 clone with De Atramentis Pine Green ink
- Retro 1951 Tornado Umbra Orange hacked with green G2 refill
- Vintage Esterbrook SJ 1551 Nib with Organic Studios Walt Whitman Leaves of Grass ink
- Jinhao 599 Orange Demonstrator with Noodler’s Green ink
- Staedtler Wopex HB 2
- Tombow 8900- HB with orange cap eraser
- Orange Ticonderoga HB 2
- Green Ticonderoga HB 2
- Vintage green Sunday School pencil
- Green Musgrave Cub 3030T
- Orange Home Depot Pencil
- Green Dixon No 2 HB
- Orange Palomino Golden Bear #2
- Rhodia A7 Pocket Notebook
- Field Notes green Unexposed
- Orange Scout Books Composition Pocket
- Field Notes Expedition
- Field Notes Ambition Ledger
- Orange Nock Co Hightower
- Orange Contigo Coffee Tumbler
In My Pocket and Therefore Not In The Picture
- Green and brass Twist Bullet Pencil
Pen: Pilot Petit 1
Ink: Private Reserve Naples Blue
Paper: Muji Plantation Notebook
Coffee: Starbucks Verona brewed via Aeropress
One year ago – on a whim – I tossed a Pilot Petit 1 fountain pen into an order of pen I refills. I had been leery of fountain pens. They seemed expensive and messy, and I knew nothing about them. But the Petit 1 only cost $3 – the perfect price for an impulse buy.
So I bought my first fountain pen – and loved it.
The Petit 1 is cute, inexpensive, not messy or hard to use, and – most important – writes well. I was smitten. I loved my Petit 1 and quickly began to wonder what else I was missing. I fell headlong into the fountain pen hole.
I had a lot to learn about fountain pens and I dove in. Of course, my fascination with pens soon turned toward ink. My growing collection of pens wouldn’t work without ink.
I found the options for ink to be even more confusing than pens: waterproof, water resistance, pigmented, permanent, lubricated, freeze resistant, fast drying, fluorescent. Some inks are some combination of these qualities; other inks are none of them.
How is a newbie to figure this out?
Ron at Pen Chalet has put together a helpful infographic that groups fountain pen inks by key qualities. Check it out.
Infographic by Pen Chalet
I wish I had this infographic a year ago. I’m glad to have it now.
And the Pens ‘n’ Coffee Official 2014 Christmas Ink is…
J. Herbin Rouge Hematite.
Thank you for your great suggestions.
Pen: Hero 616 Fountain Pen
Ink: De Atramentis Pine Green
Paper: Toms for Target Journal / Field Notes Shelterwood
Coffee: Starbucks Christmas Blend – Yum!
This is my first Christmas as a fountain pen user. The fountain pen bug bit me so bad this year that I had to start a website about it. 🙂 So, this Christmas it seems that I should have a great ink to use to sign Christmas cards and fully enjoy the season.
But a good Christmas ink requires that I branch out from my standard blues – unless I’m planning a blue Christmas.
Thanks to Mr. Goulet, I have sampled several potential Christmas inks: Diamine Oxblood, De Atramentis Pine Green, Rohrer & Klingner Alt-Goldgrun, Noodler’s Green Marine, Noodler’s Green, J. Herbin Rouge Hematite 1670, & J. Herbin Stormy Grey 1670.
What do you think?
I gathered the family to examine samples and help pick “The Official Pens ‘n’ Coffee Christmas Ink.” A few observations:
- I’m very pleased with De Atrementis Pine Green, but no one else seemed to notice it on the sample page. This seems to be an example of ink overload. Poor Pine Green!
- My kids have a hard time believing Noodler’s Green and Noodler’s Green Marine are different inks.
- My youngest picked R&K Alt-Goldgrun as the best Christmas ink. He’s clearly the only other boy. My wife and daughters thought it was ugly for Christmas.
- We had fun with J. Herbin Stormy Grey, turning it in the light to find the gold flecks. Cool, but not very Christmasy.
- The consensus of the family is that J. Herbin Rouge Hematite is the best Christmas ink, followed by the Noodler’s Greens.
What do you think? What ink deserves to be the official Christmas ink of Pens ‘n’ Coffee? Would you choose one of these or recommend another? Leave a comment to let us know.