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Month: December 2021

25 Days of Dupes 2021 – Day 13

Posted in Ink

Day 13’s ink is Ruby Blues, a sheening ink. Of the inks I swabbed, Diamine Skull and Roses is the best color dupe, although you’d likely want to cut it 2:1 water to ink to remove some of the sheen. 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!

Den’s Pens: A Set of Crystals

Posted in Fountain Pens

As you know from my 2020 wish list post, I fell in love with Den’s PensBaetylus model the first time I saw it. I thought it would look amazing in the right colors to make it an “amethyst” crystal. I wasn’t wrong.

Dennis was kind enough to reach out to me after the wish list post to let me know that he can make custom blanks. So, I got to bypass the material search and jumped on his waitlist. He’s got a great order form that takes you through all the options, step-by-step.

Before I get very far into this post, I want to acknowledge how much I appreciate Dennis’s communicativeness. He kept me updated on the entire process and sent me photos along the way. I don’t mind if the process gets delayed or takes longer than expected, as long as I’m kept informed. So, major kudos there.

Encanto, New and Different

Posted in Non-Stationery Reviews

Jim and I braved a theater to see Encanto last weekend. With the wide aisles (for the reclining seats) and people choosing not to sit next to each other, it wasn’t as bad as we’d feared.

The Short – Far From the Tree

The short had me smiling the moment it started. It was done in 2D (hand drawn) style. I say style because I’m assuming that, like South Park, it was all digital, but stylized to look hand drawn.

Regardless, it was beautiful, sweet, and the message was great. I think this is the first time that the message from the short so closely resembled the message from the main movie.

Onward, Frozen’s Brother

Posted in Non-Stationery Reviews

While on the flight home from vacation, I finally got around to watching Onward. After the fiasco that was Soul, I’d been wary of watching Onward. However, I needn’t have worried.

Onward was fun. The adventure held a much nicer surface message than Soul: “you are enough” with a side of “there is more to you than you realize.” Ian, who feels like an outcast, learns just how much he’s capable of as the movie progresses. He also realizes just how much he already has.

London Relaxation

Posted in Personal

A few weeks ago, Jim and I were finally in London for vacation. Let me tell, you, missing out on vacations because of COVID sucks. This vacation, however, was unlike any other I’ve taken as an adult. Going back to London for the fourth time, and knowing that we’ll be back again, removed all pressures to see and do everything.

Instead of my typical approach of planning something each day, we made plans for every other day. The extra time in the evenings and “off” days let us really relax.

British Museum

The British Museum was our first scheduled activity. The architecture was surprisingly contrasting, and the sections we walked through were fascinating.

Review – Heart of the Impaler

Posted in Book Blogger

Heart of the Impaler

by Alexander Delacroix

Heart of the Impaler

Genres: Historical, Young Adult
Release Date: December 7, 2021
Pages: 347
Purchase from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Google PlayKoboiBooks
My Rating: ★★★☆☆

Alexander Delacroix’s darkly romantic debut Heart of the Impaler is perfect for fans of Kiersten White’s And I Darken.

Vlad Dracula has long lived in the shadows cast by his bloodthirsty father, the voivode, and his older brother, Mircea. Despite their cruelty, Vlad has yearned to prove himself worthy of the throne his whole life. In the cold halls of the voivode’s palace, Vlad can only rely on his cousin and closest friend, Andrei Musat.

When Vlad and Andrei meet Ilona Csáki, the daughter of an influential boyar, they each find themselves inextricably drawn to her. But then Ilona is betrothed to Mircea as part of a political alliance, and Vlad’s resentfulness of his brother begins to seethe into something far darker.

Ilona has no desire to marry the voivode’s eldest son, but love and marriage are the least of her worries. The royal family’s enemies have already tried to put an arrow through her back—and if anyone discovers her blossoming feelings for Andrei and Vlad, she may just wish they’d succeeded.

Beneath the shadow of impending war, the only battle that will be deadlier than the one for Ilona’s life will be the one for her heart.

25 Days of Dupes 2021 – Day 4

Posted in Ink

Day 4’s ink is Tempest, a shimmer ink. Of the inks I swabbed, Robert Oster Thunderstorm is the best color dupe. Pilot Iroshizuku Shin Kai is a decent color dupe as well, but if yours is drying up a bit like mine was, then you’ll need to add a bit of water to cut down on the sheen. 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!

25 Days of Dupes 2021 – Day 3

Posted in Ink

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!

New Releases Round Up: November 2021

Posted in Fountain Pens

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

25 Days of Dupes 2021 – Day 2

Posted in Ink

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!

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

Posted in Ink

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.