25 Days of Dupes 2021 – Day 3

Day 3’s ink is Ash, a “standard” ink. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Diamine included multishaders in this year’s inkvent. Of the inks I swabbed, Caran d’Ache Infinite Grey is the best color dupe, but Vinta Inks Armada is the closest shading dupe. If you have a suggestion for a possible dupe, let me know in the comments, and I’ll add it to the wrap up post.

Enjoy, and happy inking!

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New Releases Round Up: November 2021

OK, second month of New Releases Round Up. If you don’t know the history, I really enjoy new makeup releases posts and videos, so I’m doing the same thing for pens. I plan to try this for the rest of this year. Depending on how I like the posts, and their reception, I may keep going after that.


There are, of course, way too many releases per month to realistically share. So this is not a round up of every release. Instead, this will be a round up of new releases from major brands that really caught my eye, or that I have strong feelings about. Click on a brand name to jump down to that section.

Aurora | Benu | Esterbrook | Leonardo Officina Italiana | Montegrappa | Narwhal | Opus 88 | Retro 51 | Sailor | Tibaldi | TWSBI | Visconti

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25 Days of Dupes 2021 – Day 2

Day 2’s ink is Garland, a shimmer and sheen ink. Of the inks I swabbed, Organics Studio Walden Pond is the best color dupe, but you’d need to cut it at least 2 to 1 water to ink to let the color show past the sheen. My custom mix is a pretty good color dupe as well; see the recipe below. If you have a suggestion for a possible dupe, let me know in the comments, and I’ll add it to the wrap up post.

Enjoy, and happy inking!

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25 Days of Dupes 2021 – Day 1

Day 1’s ink is Seize the Night, a standard ink. None of the inks I swabbed was a perfect dupe, so I made my own custom mix (recipe below). If you have a suggestion for a possible dupe, let me know in the comments, and I’ll add it to the wrap up post.

Enjoy, and happy inking!

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Duping the 2021 Diamine Inkvent Calendar (25 Days of Dupes Returns)

Don’t worry, I won’t be sharing spoilers today (or any day, technically).

Diamine’s Inkvent Calendar returns with the Red Edition. After how little I actually used the 2019 Inkvent Calendar — I don’t use shimmer ink, and rarely use sheening ink — I couldn’t justify purchasing the even more expensive 2021 calendar. Lucky for me, the DC Metro Pen Crew is a very generous community. David was kind enough to allow me to borrow his calendar to replicate my 25 Days of Dupes idea from 2019.

What’s Different This Time?

As before, to avoid spoilers, I’ll be publishing each post the day after its ink is opened. Meaning, tomorrow, the 2nd, I’ll share the dupe for today’s ink, and so on. Because it’s 25 days — and 25 inks — these will once again be truncated dupes. I won’t include as much information about the inks (e.g. price, size, etc.), nor will I include the variety of comparison methods.

Unlike 2019, however, I won’t be sharing to Instagram every day — instead sharing a reminder of the posts once a week. So if you’re interested in following along, subscribe to my blog for daily notices.

Based on feedback from 2019, I’ve decided not to avoid dupes that are difficult to obtain or expensive. It’s likely that these inkvent inks will also be released individually, and people may choose to get them as dupes for those harder-to-acquire inks.

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Fountain Pen Series + Updates

Since I finished my last Fountain Pen 301 post in October of 2018, I’ve written several updates to the different installments. To make life easier for those looking for a “one-stop-shop” I’m collecting all of the posts here. I’m also including some informational posts I’ve since written that aren’t updates to the original series. I hope it serves as a good resource for many.

I plan to keep this page updated if/when I write future updates or related posts. You can also access this page from the Fountain Pen Series link on my Tags by Category page.

My blog is not monetized, nor do I currently have any intention of monetizing it. So, point people here for information. To make it easier for you, I’ve shortened the page link for better sharing: https://bit.ly/fp-series-update. In the various installments, I link to resources from all over, including Goulet Pen Co, Jet Pens, Pentorium, Nibs.com, Vintage Pen, and quite a few more.

Now, enough preamble, time for the round up.

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Ink Catalog Update

Surprisingly, I’ve got a short post for you today. I’ve written about my ink cataloging methods before. I’ve swabbed far too many inks at this point to change my system. That said, if I could go back in time, I wouldn’t choose my current system.

Having seen many methods, my favorite is the one used by many pen stores: pocket sleeves in a binder. Vanness Pens has a post on Instagram that shows one of their binders of swabs (take a look around the 4:38 mark). The biggest pro to that method — for me — is being able to reorganize the swabs. Beyond that, you can use any paper you want to. And the swabs are more easily portable/storable than the col-o-ring. You can easily use sticky notes or washi tape to note which inks you own, or want to buy.

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Inventory Method Update

Three and a quarter years ago, I wrote about inventories as part of my fountain pen series. Bac then, I was using Google Sheets to keep track of my pen and ink collections. Of course, at the time, I only had 50 total pen records.

As my collection grew, I found that I needed something with more features than Google Sheets. After some searching, I found Airtable. It’s basically a WYSIWYG database. You can customize your databases quite a bit, if you’d like, or you can work with very basic features. You can use most of the features with a free account, but there are additional features and reporting abilities available with a paid account.

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The Pen Consumer Tag

OK, admittedly, these tag posts are hit-or-miss in terms of metrics, but I have a great time doing them. And, they help me reflect on my involvement in the pen hobby. So expect some more in the future.

This post is based on the “Beauty Consumer Tag” video from Theresa is Dead. According to her video the Beauty Consumer Tag idea originated from Nineties LoveChild.

This time, the idea is to evaluate what kind of consumer you are. And, to some degree, what type of consumer community you’re part of.

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My 10 Most-Used Inks

The other day, I was going through my inks, and I couldn’t help but wonder what inks I use most. So, me being me, I dug into my data, and pulled out my 10 most-used inks. To figure out which they were, I looked for which inks have been used in my last four notebooks (since I started tracking inks). Only 6 inks were used in all 4 notebooks. The remaining 4 were inks that I used for both regular rotation in 3 notebooks and had in always inked pens.

Honestly, I was rather surprised by the results, as these aren’t my favorite inks. At least, not the inks I think of when asked about favorites. Maybe I’ll cover those in another post.

Note: This list is in alphabetical order. I scanned my personal ink swabs from my ink notebook. I’ve done my best to make the inks look true-to-life, but I can’t account for everyone’s screen settings, only mine.

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