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Rachel's Reflections Posts

Fundraiser for Athena

Posted in Cat

As I mentioned in my post on Saturday, our formerly outdoor girl has just been diagnosed with FIP. She will need 81 more daily injections — as of this morning — of a fairly new, and rather expensive, medication. The total volume of medication she’ll need over the course of treatment will depend on how much weight she regains.

As of yesterday morning, she’s 6.4 lbs — she’s a rather small cat, and she’s still underweight — up from a horrifying 5.7 lbs at her lowest. Our goal is to get her back up to between 8 and 9 lbs. We don’t currently know exactly what her dose per injection will be as her weight goes up.

25 Days of Dupes 2022 Wrap-Up

Posted in Fountain Pens

I hope you’ve enjoyed this series. If you were unable to purchase the Inkvent Calendar, then this likely helped settle your mind about experiencing the colors. I’m sure that these 2022 colors will eventually be released individually, so hopefully this series helped you decide which ones — if any — to get.

Comparing the Inkvent Calendars

I found this year’s Inkvent calendar disappointing. There were only two inks I couldn’t match perfectly, and I’m certain it comes down to not having the right ink, as opposed to those colors being super unique. This year’s calendar was released later than last year’s, and I didn’t have the time to place additional orders trying to find perfect ink matches.

25 Days of Dupes 2022 – Week 4

Posted in Fountain Pens

Hello, welcome to the fourth post of 25 Days of Dupes 2022. Below you’ll find the inks for days 19-25. 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.

Some reminders:

  • The first image for each ink shows the inkvent ink and what I feel is the best match, swatched on Tomoe River paper.
  • The second image for each ink shows the inkvent ink and the different inks I tried matching it to, swatched on Iroful paper.
  • I swatched ink with a small paintbrush, and wrote with a Zebra G dip nib in the first image.
  • I can’t guarantee that the color you see on your screen will be true to life. However, with all the dupes on the same page, you’ll see how the colors look in relation to each other, which is the main point of these posts.
  • I’m not attempting to dupe the special properties of the inks (sheen, shimmer, scent).

Enjoy, and happy inking!

Pens for Sale for Athena

Posted in Cat, and Fountain Pens

Update 12/27/22: Thank you so much to those who have purchased pens! It’s truly appreciated.

I’ve had some pens for sale at Bertram’s Inkwell for a little while. I appreciate how easy Bert makes his consignment process. Under normal circumstances, I’m in no hurry to sell pens. They sell when they sell. That said, we’ve had something come up.

Athena’s Story

If you follow me on Instagram, then you’ve likely seen posts of our “outdoor” girl, Athena. She was once a feral kitten, and came to us for help when she was about 6 months old. She was outside our garage, meowing at us. And she never really left.

My 2022 Brand “Discoveries”

Posted in Fountain Pens

While I didn’t quite buy from 15 new-to-me brands like last year, I did purchase from 9. Now, when I say new-to-me, I don’t mean I’ve never heard of them, just that I’d never before purchased a pen made by that brand.

Nearly all of them are indie brands, which makes me happy as I like supporting indie brands. And my interest continues to be piqued by indie brands more than mainstream brands.

Anyway, let’s start with mainstream brands to get that out of the way, then jump into the indie brands. FYI: The lists are in alphabetical order.

Review – Her Sisterly Love

Posted in Book Blogger

Her Sisterly Love

by Lucy Marin

Genres: Regency Fiction
Release Date: January 24, 2022
Pages: 188
Purchase from: Amazon
My Rating: ★★★★☆

AT THE TENDER AGE OF TWELVE, Elizabeth Bennet vowed to protect her younger sisters from her parents’ neglect, brought on by their increasingly combative marriage. Jane is her partner in this endeavour—until her attention is diverted by the arrival of a handsome new neighbour, Mr Bingley. With him is his friend, Mr Darcy, who Elizabeth first dismisses as taciturn and rude. But as she gets to know him, other feelings arise—ones destined to end in heartbreak because of her promise to remain with her sisters.

SOON AFTER ARRIVING at Netherfield, Fitzwilliam Darcy finds himself intrigued by one of the local young ladies. There is something about Elizabeth Bennet’s kindliness that draws him to her, and as he learns more about her, his admiration grows. First determined to forget her, he soon wants more than anything to win her heart and her hand in marriage. But will the very thing that draws him to her be the thing that forever keeps them apart?

25 Days of Dupes 2022 – Week 3

Posted in Fountain Pens

Hello, welcome to the third post of 25 Days of Dupes 2022. Below you’ll find the inks for days 12-18. 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.

Some reminders:

  • The first image for each ink shows the inkvent ink and what I feel is the best match, swatched on Tomoe River paper.
  • The second image for each ink shows the inkvent ink and the different inks I tried matching it to, swatched on Iroful paper.
  • I swatched ink with a small paintbrush, and wrote with a Zebra G dip nib in the first image.
  • I can’t guarantee that the color you see on your screen will be true to life. However, with all the dupes on the same page, you’ll see how the colors look in relation to each other, which is the main point of these posts.
  • I’m not attempting to dupe the special properties of the inks (sheen, shimmer, scent).

Enjoy, and happy inking!

Ridiculous Pens

Posted in Fountain Pens

Today’s post is somewhat inspired by a YouTube video. “Weird pen collabs” seemed like a fun topic, at least until I realized the only one I could find/think of was the Montegrappa & Harry Potter series. And that’s only weird for what Montegrappa chose to draw inspiration from. The Quidditch pitch, really? But I digress.

So, I modified the idea to ridiculous pens. The pens I chose are either ridiculously bad OR ridiculously good. On the bad side of things you have poor design and pricing. On the good side you have amazing showcase of materials and skill. I’m sure there are many other ridiculous pens I’ve missed, but I tried to go for a variety, and I think I succeeded.

Side note before I begin: I’m not judging the artistry or craftsmanship on the “bad” pens, just the decisions.

Now, let’s start small and work our way up, shall we?

Review – Longbourn

Posted in Book Blogger

Longbourn

by Jo Baker

Genres: Historical Fiction, Regency Fiction
Release Date: October 8, 2013
Pages: 354
Purchase from: Amazon
My Rating: ★★★☆☆

While Elizabeth Bennet and her sisters fuss over balls and husbands, Sarah, their orphaned housemaid, is beginning to chafe against the boundaries of her class. When a new footman arrives at Longbourn under mysterious circumstances, the carefully choreographed world she has known all her life threatens to be completely, perhaps irrevocably, upended. Mentioned only fleetingly in Jane Austen’s classic, here Jo Baker dares to take us beyond the drawing rooms of Regency England and, in doing so, uncovers the real world of the novel that has captivated readers’ hearts around the world for generations.

25 Days of Dupes 2022 – Week 2

Posted in Fountain Pens

Hello, welcome to the second post of 25 Days of Dupes 2022. Below you’ll find the inks for days 5-11. 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.

Some reminders:

  • The first image for each ink shows the inkvent ink and what I feel is the best match, swatched on Tomoe River paper.
  • The second image for each ink shows the inkvent ink and the different inks I tried matching it to, swatched on Iroful paper.
  • I swatched ink with a small paintbrush, and wrote with a Zebra G dip nib in the first image.
  • I can’t guarantee that the color you see on your screen will be true to life. However, with all the dupes on the same page, you’ll see how the colors look in relation to each other, which is the main point of these posts.
  • I’m not attempting to dupe the special properties of the inks (sheen, shimmer, scent).

Enjoy, and happy inking!

Revisiting Encanto

Posted in Reviews

I’ve intended to write this post for months. But, every time I’ve put it on my blog schedule, I move it. However, with tomorrow being the 1-year anniversary of my Encanto post, it felt like a “now-or-never” kind of thing.

So, here I am, revisiting Encanto. For the most part, my review was positive. Where I came down a bit hard on Disney was the music. Since then, though, my opinion on the music has changed, and I was wrong.

Review – The Other Bennet Sister

Posted in Book Blogger

The Other Bennet Sister

by Janice Hadlow

Genres: Literary Fiction, Regency, Romance
Release Date: March 31, 2020
Pages: 481
Purchase from: Amazon
My Rating: ★★★★☆

What if Mary Bennet’s life took a different path from that laid out for her in Pride and Prejudice? What if the frustrated intellectual of the Bennet family, the marginalized middle daughter, the plain girl who takes refuge in her books, eventually found the fulfillment enjoyed by her prettier, more confident sisters? This is the plot of Janice Hadlow’s The Other Bennet Sister, a debut novel with exactly the affection and authority to satisfy Jane Austen fans.

Ultimately, Mary’s journey is like that taken by every Austen heroine. She learns that she can only expect joy when she has accepted who she really is. She must throw off the false expectations and wrong ideas that have combined to obscure her true nature and prevented her from what makes her happy. Only when she undergoes this evolution does she have a chance at finding fulfillment; only then does she have the clarity to recognize her partner when he presents himself—and only at that moment is she genuinely worthy of love.

Mary’s destiny diverges from that of her sisters. It does not involve broad acres or landed gentry. But it does include a man; and, as in all Austen novels, Mary must decide whether he is the truly the one for her. In The Other Bennet Sister, Mary is a fully rounded character—complex, conflicted, and often uncertain; but also vulnerable, supremely sympathetic, and ultimately the protagonist of an uncommonly satisfying debut novel.

25 Days of Dupes 2022 – Week 1

Posted in Fountain Pens

Hello, welcome to the first post of 25 Days of Dupes 2022. Below you’ll find the inks for days 1-4. 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.

Some reminders:

  • The first image for each ink shows the inkvent ink and what I feel is the best match, swatched on Tomoe River paper.
  • The second image for each ink shows the inkvent ink and the different inks I tried matching it to, swatched on Iroful paper.
  • I swatched ink with a small paintbrush, and wrote with a Zebra G dip nib in the first image.
  • I can’t guarantee that the color you see on your screen will be true to life. However, with all the dupes on the same page, you’ll see how the colors look in relation to each other, which is the main point of these posts.
  • I’m not attempting to dupe the special properties of the inks (sheen, shimmer, scent).

Enjoy, and happy inking!

Provocateur Images – Passionate Photography

Posted in Personal, and Reviews

A few years ago, I took advantage of a Groupon deal to try out a boudoir shoot. I wanted to improve my self-confidence and thought that seeing myself through someone else’s eyes might help. It was a nice experience, and it did what I’d hoped. We still have some of those photos on the wall in our bedroom.

That shoot led me to research boudoir photographers on Instagram, which is how I found Trevor of Provocateur Images. His posts caught my eye. They’re gorgeous! I especially liked seeing that he’s size-inclusive and LGBTQIA+ friendly. And, while it didn’t apply to me, he takes great couples shots.

But, he’s in Toronto. A bit far to travel for a photo shoot. Jim, though, came up with a fabulous idea to combine a trip for the photo shoot with a trip for Scriptus. Brilliant man.

So, we booked a trip for October 2020. And then the world exploded. Thankfully, Trevor allowed me to put my shoot on hold until things got back to normal.

It’s An ADHD Thing?!

Posted in Personal

At roughly a year since I first sought help for a resurgence of ADHD symptoms, I’ve learned a lot, especially from meme accounts on Instagram. One of the big things I’ve learned about fairly recently is that sharing a personal story to relate to something someone has said isn’t something everyone does! I legitimately never noticed that I could be somewhat unusual in that.

Twitter post: When people with ADHD bring personal anecdotes into conversations, we aren't trying to "make everything about us." We just listen to what you're saying and get excited by the instant connections we're making to things we've experienced
Just one example, of many, posts I’ve come across regarding ADHD’ers sharing personal anecdotes.

Pens Unique to a Brand

Posted in Fountain Pens

Part of what I like about indie-made pens is finding models, materials, etc. that are unique to a maker. Obviously, I don’t know every maker. Nor do I even come close to purchasing from every maker I know of. However, I want to dedicate this post to pens I know of that are unique to their respective makers. I’m listing these alphabetically by maker.

Slowing the Shopping

Posted in Fountain Pens, and Personal

If you read my ADHD post, you know I have troubles with purchasing things. As it seemed that at least some of you found that post helpful, I’d like to share one of my biggest weapons in managing my shopping impulses, especially with Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and holiday shopping coming up.

For me, the most helpful thing has been what I call anti-shoping mantras. These short phrases and questions let me pause my thinking long enought to reconsider what I’m doing. This extra moment is often enough to allow me to stop myself.

Pen Porn: Benu Minima Feather in the Wind

Posted in Fountain Pens

Disclaimer: I take no responsibility for pen envy or impulse purchases resulting from viewing this post.

Per usual, you can click on the images to view them larger. I do my best to provide you with the best pen porn. 😉

I’ve been trying hard to buy less pens, since I over purchased this year. For the most part, I’ve been doing a bit better. But, when I saw the Feather in the Wind, I couldn’t resist. Just look at the gorgeous photos Benu shared.

Indie Packaging Influence

Posted in Fountain Pens

I received an interesting question a few weeks ago: who does the best packaging for their pens, and do you think that factors into whether you go back to them as a pen seller?

The question was geared toward indie-made pens, so that’s what I’ll be focusing on today. However, I’m going to ignore the first part of the question as “best” is highly subjective.