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Category: Fountain Pens

A Stanford Wood Studio Commission

Posted in Fountain Pens

When I failed to check Stanford Wood Studio (SWS) off my 2021 wish list, I vowed to ensure I ordered from them in 2022. To that end, as I mentioned in my 2022 wish list post, I reserved a commission right at the beginning of January. But, before I dive into that, allow me to say that SWS was fabulous to work with. I believe I mostly, if not only, communicated with Di — she’s lovely. I appreciated the updates on my commission and her suggestions for making it better. And, once my pens arrived, I could — and can — see what fantastic work they — Di and Dave — do.

Flexible Nib Factory ZT5E Review

Posted in Fountain Pens

DISCLAIMER UPDATE (6/24/22): TWSBI and Narwhal have released a joint statement which I cover in my most recent TWSBIgate post. While not completely satisfied with TWSBI’s response to the situation, I no longer feel the need to dissuade people from purchasing their products.

DISCLAIMER (5/1/22): Since writing this post, TWSBI has been involved in some unsavory actions, and I am currently boycotting them. For more information, refer to the #twsbigate tag page.

In late February, I saw a post on Goulet Nation where someone was showing off a new nib. But this wasn’t any old nib, it was the Flexible Nib Factory ZT5E. Or, in English, a custom feed and housing to allow the use of a Zebra G dip nib in a TWSBI 580 series pen. Since Zebra G nibs are what first sparked my love of flex nibs, I immediately purchased a ZT5E.

Before I dive into the actual review, I want to make it clear that as far as manufacturing and production, I think the ZT5E is top-notch. My critique should be read with the awareness that this is a dip nib housed in a fountain pen. Flexible Nib Factory has provided a way to fit a square peg in a round hole, basically.

Pen Porn: Permies.world English Garden

Posted in Fountain Pens

I have to start this post with an apology to you, the reader. I’m sorry you can’t buy one of these pens, but I feel like this amazing masterpiece deserves its own post.

permies.world on Instagram held a one-time drawing in support of Ukrainian relief efforts. 7 lucky people were given the opportunity to add one of her hand-painted masterpieces to their pen collection for the simple price of donating to a verifiable charity helping Ukrainian adults, children, or pets. You can see the full post on her Instagram account.

I also want to say, don’t pester her to sell pens. I doubt any of you would be so rude, but I’d like to make my opinions clear. She has every right to choose to make pens for the fun of it and not sell them.

My Pen Collection Part 1

Posted in Fountain Pens, and Non-Fountain Pens

DISCLAIMER UPDATE (6/24/22): TWSBI and Narwhal have released a joint statement which I cover in my most recent TWSBIgate post. While not completely satisfied with TWSBI’s response to the situation, I no longer feel the need to dissuade people from purchasing their products.

DISCLAIMER (5/1/22): Since writing this post, TWSBI has been involved in some unsavory actions, and I am currently boycotting them. For more information, refer to the #twsbigate tag page.

“Less Expensive” Pens

We’re back to posts you requested! I’ve been considering dedicating a post or two to showing off my pen collection for a while. When I saw that quite a few of you were interested in that as well, I started thinking about how best to manage it.

I knew I couldn’t share them all in one post. That’s WAY too much at once. Instead, I’ve decided to break this into three roughly equal parts. This one will focus on my less expensive mainstream pens. I’ll link to part two and part three once they’re posted.

Nib Mini Reviews – BWIPS ’22 Haul

Posted in Fountain Pens

Before I dive in, I want to readdress my blog schedule. A few posts back, I mentioned that pen posts would be released on Fridays and non-pen posts would be released on Tuesdays. Well, I have so many things to write about now that that plan needs to change. Moving forward, short of some major problem, I’ll post every Friday, most likely about pens or pen-related topics. I may post up to 4 other times a week, with varying subjects.

OK, with that out of the way, I can jump into the nib reviews. I picked up 5 new nibs at BWIPS. I’m really enjoying testing out various nibs and nib grinds right now. It adds extra character to my writing and helps make older pens “new and exciting” again.

Pen Mini Reviews – BWIPS ’22 Haul

Posted in Fountain Pens, and Non-Fountain Pens

Well, I meant for this to go up on Tuesday, but I just didn’t get to it. You all seemed to enjoy my pen mini reviews of my DC Pen Show Haul, so I’m doing them again with my BWIPS 2022 haul. I hope you enjoy this one, too. FYI, I’m listing the pens in purchase order.

As usual, click on any image to view it larger.

all pens from my haul
A full rotation of pens in one haul.

The Fountain Pen Tag Round 2 – Nibs

Posted in Fountain Pens

DISCLAIMER UPDATE (6/24/22): TWSBI and Narwhal have released a joint statement which I cover in my most recent TWSBIgate post. While not completely satisfied with TWSBI’s response to the situation, I no longer feel the need to dissuade people from purchasing their products.

DISCLAIMER (5/1/22): Since writing this post, TWSBI has been involved in some unsavory actions, and I am currently boycotting them. For more information, refer to the #twsbigate tag page.

After the fun I had with The Fountain Pens Tag post, I decided to jump on the round 2 version that’s been going around. Except this time I’m just focusing on nibs.

This post is inspired by Heather Austin‘s video THE PALETTE TAG ROUND 2 | ALL ABOUT EYESHADOWS! In that video, she credits Samantha March and Allie Glines with coming up with the idea.

Customized Custom 74 Review

Posted in Fountain Pens

As I mentioned in my Elabo review, I got two pens from Penwing Stationery. This time, I’m reviewing the second, the Custom 74.

Again, I’m not reviewing the pen itself. I already know I love that. I’m focusing on the aftermarket customization work done on the pen. As with my Elabo review, I’m judging the work based on the price difference. In this case, a Custom 74 sells for $200 MSRP ($160 retail). The Penwing Stationery customized version has a $205.99 list price, but seems to be on perpetual sale for $165. So, I’m judging the work on a $5 difference.

My Brand “Grudges”

Posted in Fountain Pens, and Ink

As I mentioned in my survey results post, I was surprised to find that this topic got the most votes. But, ask and you shall receive. This post is inspired by Emily Hanhan‘s video MAKEUP GRUDGES BRANDS, PRODUCTS, & TRENDS I HAVE BEEF WITH! // YES, THIS IS A RANT!

Now, by definition, a grudge is “a persistent feeling of ill will or resentment resulting from a past insult or injury.” However, I don’t necessarily have ill will or resentment towards these brands. Rather, most of them I’ve simply had one or more negative experiences that make me wary or unwilling to purchase more from them. There are only two brands on this list that I would, and have, actively warn people against buying.

Customized Elabo Review

Posted in Fountain Pens

Of course, just after telling you I was going to scale back on the blog posts, two pens arrived, so you’ll get 2 posts a week for a little longer so I can do my reviews. Plus I have two more pens on order, and there’s BWIPS in two weeks, so… yeah. Lots to write.

Anyway, a while back I came across a very interesting pen on Instagram from Penwing Stationery. At first, I thought it was a Japan or China exclusive. However, it turned out to be a customized Pilot Custom 74. I showed Jim, and we ended up ordering three different pens, including that first one I saw.

It took about a month to actually ship our order, but they they arrived in only 4 days. We eagerly unboxed our pens. Jim’s Pilot Custom 91 is good. Of my two (the Custom 74 and a Pilot Elabo — basically a Falcon) one was lovely, and one was a disappointment. I’ll be reviewing the latter today. Save the best for last, and all that.

One Wasn’t Enough

Posted in Fountain Pens

DISCLAIMER UPDATE (6/24/22): TWSBI and Narwhal have released a joint statement which I cover in my most recent TWSBIgate post. While not completely satisfied with TWSBI’s response to the situation, I no longer feel the need to dissuade people from purchasing their products.

DISCLAIMER (5/1/22): Since writing this post, TWSBI has been involved in some unsavory actions, and I am currently boycotting them. For more information, refer to the #twsbigate tag page.

This post is inspired by Angelica Nyqvist‘s video One Wasn’t Enough… | Products So Good I Went Back and Bought More!!. In that video, she credits Lauren Mae Beauty with coming up with the idea.

While the idea is pretty straightforward, I’m taking a specific facet of it. I’m not examining all pens I had to have more than one of. Instead, I’m only taking a look at those pens that I purchased more than one of the same model because I loved the way it writes. Maybe later I can share pens I bought more than one of because of the way they look. Would you be interested in that?

Anyway, that’s enough blathering, let’s get to the fun stuff.

Benu Talisman Wild Rose Review

Posted in Fountain Pens

When the Wild Rose was first announced, I didn’t plan to get it. I’m not big on pink, and, as I’m trying to limit my pen acquisitions this year, it seemed silly to get it “just because.”

However, when I found out the material includes rose petals and heart-shaped glitter, I decided to get it. I pre-ordered from Pen Chalet and requested either #19 or #69 if they got either one. I was lucky enough to get pen #69.

So, I have a holy grail of pens, a Valentine’s Day pen numbered 69. On top of that, it was, by sheer coincidence, my 214th pen. So I can’t get rid of it. Ever. Well, unless someone offers me an obscene amount of money for it. But, enough backstory, you’re here for a review.

Pens That Almost Got Away

Posted in Fountain Pens, and Non-Fountain Pens

DISCLAIMER UPDATE (6/24/22): TWSBI and Narwhal have released a joint statement which I cover in my most recent TWSBIgate post. While not completely satisfied with TWSBI’s response to the situation, I no longer feel the need to dissuade people from purchasing their products.

DISCLAIMER (5/1/22): Since writing this post, TWSBI has been involved in some unsavory actions, and I am currently boycotting them. For more information, refer to the #twsbigate tag page.

Before I dive into this post, I have an announcement. After over two months of twice-a-week or more posting, I’m going to slow down a bit, and only post once a week for a while. I’m trying to give myself some more time for other hobbies, including an embroidery project, ancestry research, and a completely new hobby I want to try, bead weaving. Fountain pen posts will go up on Fridays. Non-fountain pen posts will go up on Tuesdays. Now, on to the pens that got away!

Pens I Almost Bought

Posted in Fountain Pens

Yep, it’s another adaptation from YouTube; is anyone surprised? Honestly, the YouTube makeup world has some great year-end round-up ideas. This one comes from Angelica Nyqvist‘s video 10 Palettes I ALMOST Bought Recently (but then DIDN’T). But, back to this post. The idea is pretty self-explanatory.

So, what pens did I almost buy, and what kept me from purchasing them?

What is “Decommissioned?”

Posted in Fountain Pens

I’ve had a few questions, over the past year, about my pen statuses. Most commonly, I’ve been asked about “decommissioned” pens. Since that status appears to confuse people, I’d like to explain what the various statuses I use mean.


In Rotation: A pen I own that is in active rotation use.

On Break: A pen I own that is not in active rotation. Typically, these are pens I’m trying to decide if I want to sell.

My Current Pen Wish List — Jan. 2022

Posted in Fountain Pens

Well, it’s time to revisit my wish list. I’ve bought some pens, decided against others, and found new pens I want. My wish list still isn’t the longest it’s ever been, so I suppose that’s a good thing.

I’ve split my list into two: the “Tier One” that I’m actively looking to acquire, and “Tier Two” that I’d pick up if there’s a good deal, or if the stars align perfectly.

My Pen Collection – Start of 2022

Posted in Fountain Pens

Another year, another overview of my collection. Last year, I used Adobe Illustrator and created vector images for each table — accuracy was a pain in the butt. This time, I went with Google Data Studio. I don’t have as many shape and display options as I do with Illustrator, but I can more easily separate and display data this way. I have so much fun playing with data that I went a little overboard with this, so you can click through the four pages at the bottom of the frame. Or, if it’s easier for you, you can view directly in Data Studio.

Pen Resolutions Tag

Posted in Fountain Pens

This is another adaptation from Theresa is Dead, this time, her OH 2021… | BEAUTY RESOLUTIONS TAG video. The Beauty Resolutions Tag originated with Mel Thompson. At first glance, I thought this one wouldn’t require much adaptation. It seemed as though most questions could easily apply to the pen hobby simply by changing one or two words. However, when I sat down to really answer each question, I realized that a lot more work was required. But I digress

I’ll have to revisit this in 2023 and see how I did with these resolutions.

1. What is something you do regularly in your pen routine that you will try to stop?

I need to get better about putting off pen cleaning. I used to clean my previous week’s pens when filling the new week’s pens. But that turned a 10-minute activity into a 20+ minute activity, which annoyed me. So, I started cleaning my pens on Mondays, then Tuesdays, and, well, you get the picture. I usually get them cleaned by Wednesday, but a couple of weeks ago, I never got to them and had to clean 10 pens at once.

Reviewing My Purchasing Habits

Posted in Fountain Pens

Surprisingly, I actually have a short post for you today. As I’ve discussed previously, I’m trying hard to ensure that I think through my pen purchases. I seem to have done fairly well with that in 2021. I sold 14 pens last year, and not one of them was purchased in 2021. That put me ahead of the same-year sales I had in 2020 (2), 2019 (3), and 2018 (4).

I disposed of less pens in 2021 than 2020 (17), 2019 (15), and 2018 (26). However, I only bought two more pens (42) in 2021 than 2020 (40) despite a significant positive change in our financial situation. I’m pretty proud of myself for that.