My BUJO (Bullet Journal)

I have a BUJO that I use on a daily basis. I started this back in August 2020. I would do a page a day of my to-do lists, reminders to drink water, exercise, declutter, organize, run errands, etc. I would decorate each day with stickers and add thin strips of washi tape around the edges of the paper.

That lasted a week. As my days got busier, I had less time for decorating. My detailed lists became brief and shorter.

As time went on, I continued to create my daily pages and tried out different formats that made more sense to me and my lifestyle.

My monthly calendar page changed from pre-printed calendars to a two page spread that I drew out with my fountain pens and inks.

My daily pages were a waste of space and I was able to come up with another configuration of putting all seven days across a two page spread. That made a huge difference in my ability to see the whole week at a time.

It was back in early 2021 that I started this monthly and weekly configuration you see here from the two pictures. As I have limited space, no stickers or washi tapes are used. I might occasionally sneak in a sketch or two.

The little red cups I sketched out are reminders to drink water throughout the morning and afternoon.

I also record the weather outside (sunny, cloudy, rainy) and the temperature for the day. This activity allows me to do a bit of sketching in my daily BUJO.

My Stalogy journal holds a lot of pages and can get chunky as a result of all the washi tape and sticker applications. It’s a lovely journal I can leave open on my desk and the pages lay flat.

Pens: TWSBI Swipe in Pear Green with Stub 1.1 nib. Narwhal Voyage in New Orleans with Fine nib. Pilot Prera Red with Calligraphy Medium (CM) nib.

Inks: Colorverse Brane. Jacques Herbin Vert Atlantide. Diamine Pink Glitz.

Journal: Stalogy 365 Editor in B6 with Navie Travels Journal cover

Happy Easter Weekend!

I created my own version of Easter eggs!

Pens: Uni Pin Fine Line pen in 0.3mm. TWSBI Swipe in Pear Green with Stub 1.1 nib. TWSBI GO with Stub 1.1 nib.

Inks: Colorverse Brane. Jacques Herbin Cornaline d’Egypte. Kaweco Summer Purple. Robert Oster Heart of Gold and Thunderstorm. Diamine Pink Glitz, Subzero, and Starlit Sea.

Journal: Stillman & Birn Alpha Hardcover 4″x6″

My Whimsical House

Sometimes I just feel a bit whimsical. Enjoy!

Pens: TWSBI Swipe in Coral with Stub 1.1 nib. Uni Pin Fine Line pen in 0.1 and 0.3mm.

Inks: Colorverse Brane. Jacques Herbin Cornaline d’Egypte. Robert Oster Heart of Gold and Thunderstorm. Diamine Vintage Copper, Amaranth, Cocoa Shimmer, and Winter Spice.

Journal: Stillman & Birn Alpha Hardcover 4″x6″

My Narwhal 2022 LE Fountain Pen

Back in 2019, I attended my first pen show The DC Fountain Pen Super Show. I stumbled upon Narwhal’s table and purchased two of their original piston filling pens in Hippocampus Purple and Merman Green. During that time I did not realize it was Narwhal’s first pen show as an exhibitor as well as their first launch of their Original Series.

My initial attraction to the Narwhal original pen was their nibs. Who could not adore the lovely & cute narwhal logo engraved into their nib? At the show, they introduced the four pen colors: Poseidon Blue, Yellow Tang, and the two others I mentioned in the previous paragraph. I tried out each pen color and had a hard time deciding which colors to get. I was happy I went with my gut instinct and purchased the purple and green pens. I went back to their table a few hours later and their pens were sold out.

Hippocampus Purple
Merman Green

The Narwhal nibs are manufactured in-house. Yes, I do find their nibs to be a bit stiff with a pleasant writing experience. I have so many fountain pens with JoWo or Bock nibs that I have become comfortable with their consistent and familiar writing experiences. Narwhal’s nibs are a nice change for me and provides me with a unique writing experience.

When I first saw the Narwhal Voyage in New Orleans, I knew it had to be a DiamondCast resin by McKenzie Penworks. I already have two Esterbrook Estie pens with the McKenzie DiamondCast resins and they are stunning pens. I knew this one would be too.

The colors in my New Orleans pen includes dark purple, golden yellow, and dark teal green. Definitely reminds me of Mardi Gras colors.

I love the shape and weight of my Voyage pen. This is my first pen with a rounded top and rounded bottom. The tapered section has a slight lip towards the end where the feed/nib goes into the pen and is very comfortable to hold while writing. When uncapped, the pen is well balanced in my hand. I wanted to add my pen does not post. Good thing as it would make the pen back heavy.

The overall diameter of this pen is not too slender and not too bulky. The pen weighs roughly around 33-36 grams depending on the specs you find. Not a lightweight pen at all. I have to mention again my pen is well balanced in my hand. For me, it feels like the perfect pen to hold.

My New Orleans was a lovely surprise when I received it. I was happy to see a small dispersion of the golden yellow color scattered around the pen. I believe having the dark purple and dark teal resin against the yellow plated gold trim creates a lovely contrast.

The Narwhal Voyage has an oversized piston filling tank and an ink window where I can see how much ink I have left in my pen. The piston knob has a nice smooth and solid feel while turning. Overall, it’s a well made pen.

My lovely pen has a unique writing personality. The Fine nib produces a smooth writing experience with just a hint of feedback. My sparkling pen needed a shimmering ink and I went with my fave ink Vert Atlantide.

The other colors in the Narwhal Voyage collection includes Shanghai and New York City. Each color collection is limited to 500 pieces. Personally I thought New Orleans had the most depth of colors with lots of sparkles. Do you like how I phrased that? I could not say colorful as that description would belong to the New York City pen color with bright swirls of white, blue, and orange. Shanghai appears to be dark blue with subtle hints of turquoise. It appears to be a dark colored pen in normal light.

Another Narwhal Voyage color that is available exclusively through Atlas Stationers is Chicago and has swirls of predominantly red with hints of blue and white colors.

Before I forget, I need to mention that I’ve seen various retailers calling this pen model Nautilus Voyage or Nautilus Voyager. When I look at the boxes (outer and inner) my pen came in, it says Narwhal Voyage. I think I will stick to that naming convention.

Here’s a picture of my Narwhal with my other favorite fountain pens to show a size comparison.

Lamy 2k, Franklin-Christoph 31, Narwhal Voyage, Esterbrook Estie OS, and TWSBI Diamond 580

Pen: Narwhal Voyage in New Orleans (gold, purple & green) with Fine nib

Ink: Jacques Herbin Vert Atlantide

Paper: Rhodia

My TWSBI Swipes!

I was certain that I had wrote about my Swipes in a blog entry from last year. I was not able to find it. I did find a draft and I apparently forgot to hit the publish button. I thought I would take what I wrote last year and combine it with my current post for today. That way you can see the progression and thoughts I had about this pen model from TWSBI. Here we go starting with the blog post that did not get published.

Last Year (August 2021):

I purchased my first two (Smoke & Prussian Blue) at the 2021 DC Pen Show. I had to go to two different pen retailers (Vanness & Lemure Inks) to find my favorite Stub 1.1 nibs. The Swipes sold out quickly during the show.

When I initially had the Swipe in my hand, I was “on the fence” as to whether I liked it or not. That was weird for me. Normally, I know within a minute if I really like the pen or if it’s just okie dokie.

I love what I call my “art” fountain pens with a snap cap. Which is why I enjoy using my TWSBI GOs. My other snap cap go-to pens include the Platinum Preppy and Prefounte and my Pilot Preras. So the Swipe definitely falls into this snap cap category.

The Swipe includes two different types of converters and an ink cartridge. They hold a decent amount of ink, more so than the standard converters and standard ink cartridges. That’s a plus in my book.

The Swipe is 2gms lighter than the GO. The Swipe’s grip is 9mm while the GO’s grip is around 10mm. The Swipe is also a noticeably thinner in the body and not chunky like the GO.

The GO material feels a bit more substantial in my hand and maybe a bit more durable.

It will be interesting to see if TWSBI produces this new model in other colors. I could see going crazy with some bright colors. That’s just my thoughts.

It’s only been a little over a week and I think I need to spend a bit more time with my TWSBI Swipes. Spending some time writing in my journals and sketching with them.

Today:

Apparently, I must have had an inkling or gut instinct that TWSBI would be coming out with Swipes in bright colors.

Now, I have had six months to figure out if I like the Swipes or not. I do like them. I find the Swipes to be a bargain. The pen is packaged with a rather large black ink cartridge. It also comes with two ink converters. One is a traditional twist converter and the other is a spring-loaded/plunger type converter. Like the TWSBI ink cartridge, the converters hold a large amount of ink.

In my Swipes, I prefer to use the spring-loaded plunger type converter. I find it’s easier to fill and clean. That’s one of the reasons why I like my GOs so much with it’s spring plunger.

I was so happy get a brightly colored Swipe pen that I had to do a sketch. I filled my pen with Cornaline d’Egypte.

I managed to get a nice fill of shimmers in my pen.

When I saw that TWSBI was coming out with another Swipe color, I knew I had to get that color as well. When I received this Pear Green pen, I was torn between filling it with Rohrer & Klingner Alt Goldgrun or Colorverse Brane ink. When I use my TWSBIs I tend to fill it with shimmering ink.

I’m sad to admit that it took me a year to open my new bottle of Brane. It’s a beautiful and bright olive green color with a tiny bit of blue sheen and lots of shading. The shimmering particles look like metallic green sparkles. It’s a stunning ink color.

If the shimmers were removed from Brane, I think the remaining color is very close to Alt Goldgrun. They are both gorgeous ink colors and Brane looks to be a tiny bit darker in color.

For me, the shimmering sparkles in Brane makes the ink color a better choice over Alt Goldgrun. Also Brane feels like a wetter ink.

I know a few folks dislike the GOs because they look and feel chunky. I think the Swipe is a great alternative.

Pens: TWSBI Swipes in Smoke, Prussian Blue, Salmon, & Pear Green with Stub 1.1 nibs

Inks: Jacques Herbin Cornaline d’Egypte. Colorverse Brane (Glistening)

Journal: Stillman & Birn Alpha Hardcover 4″x6″

Paper: Rhodia

I’m Here!

It was 28 days ago when I last wrote an entry on my blog. Since then I’ve been radio silent and you were probably wondering what I’ve been up to. Right? Maybe? Hahaha!

For the whole month of September I felt like I’ve been running non-stop. I had appointments, projects, and deadlines to take care of. I had out of town relatives stop by for a visit and ended up needing my assistance and staying a bit longer. As always, it was great to catch up and spend time with them. The next thing I knew September came and went.

On the creative side of life I have been keeping up with my artistic hobbies.

I have been busy practicing my not-quite Copperplate handwriting using my Opus 88 Omar with the lovely Stylosuite EF Xwing Harpoon nib. I’ve noticed my hand and arm movements are more free flowing and not as jerky as before. I’m now dabbling into creating my own style of writing and adding flourishes.

I’ve been keeping up with my pen and ink wash art. I’ve been practicing and creating sketches of grapes. For some reason grapes have been tripping me up. In the past, I’ve started my sketches and never finished them. I decided to break down my “grape picture” I’ve been working on and just focus on a few grapes versus huge clusters of them surrounded by vines and leaves.

Here’s my pen and ink wash version:

While I was on this “grape” adventure, I decided to break out my watercolor paints and see what I could do. It’s still a work in progress and I need to tackle the leaves.

My watercolor grapes took a few hours to create as I was working in layers of colors. Each layer had to dry completely before I could add another layer of color on top. I love watercolor painting, but I rarely have blocks of hours to devote to a painting. I think that is why I enjoy using my fountain pens and inks for sketching as I can quickly get bold and vivid colors and instantaneous results.

Before I forget, I found a new toy. I managed to snag a fantastic deal on a Cricut machine. So now my baby Joy has a big sister the Maker.

I procured some sample paper packs and I immediately created some stickers from my artwork. This is still a work in progress as I’m testing out different brands and types of papers. Can you tell? I’m having way too much fun!

I’ll be back with more artwork, new inks, and other interesting finds that I forgot to mention. Be well and stay safe!

Blueberry pen & ink sketch: Robert Oster Tokyo Blue Denim, Eucalyptus Leaf, and Thunderstorm

Grape pen & ink sketch: Robert Oster Sydney Lavender & Melon Tea. Van Dieman’s Ink Beetroot Relish and Eucalyptus Regnans. Jacques Herbin Amethyste de l’Oural and Vert Atlantide.

Currently Inked

Here are my currently inked pens. I’ve been doing well in keeping my goal of having a handful of pens inked at one time. Sometimes a pen friend will ask a question and I’ll immediately ink up a pen to show the writing experience. So far, I’ve managed to keep variety of different ink colors available for my personal writing.

Here’s the list of ink colors:

The Rohrer & Klingner inks are fast becoming one of my favorite ink brands. Their ink colors are vibrant and stunning and they make beautiful ink washes.

Happy Wednesday!

Swatching Inks in My Journal (KWZ and Jacques Herbin Inks)

I thought I was dealing with allergies last week which turned out to be a head cold that Hubby shared with me. I’m slowly feeling somewhat normal and I’m hoping my creative juices will come back this week.

This morning I decided to continue with swatching some inks colors from KWZ Inks. Oh wait. I’m back to swatching fountain pen inks instead of playing with my watercolors? Yes. Shifting gears for a few hours today. Plus swatching colors seem to be the most creative thing I feel like doing at this moment.

In my previous ink swatching posts, I’ve been using my Col-o-ring swatch cards for the last two years as my primary method for swatching colors. I love having the ability to swap and re-organize my cards around in the ring. I’ve also been playing with my ink colors in my fountain pen ink journal to see how the inks react to water.

In my journal, I used to just dabble ink on a page and take a water brush and swipe the color. There was no rhyme or reason to my method and I would end up with a mishmash of colors on a page.

A sample page from my ink journal

I thought I would bring some organization to my ink journal. Here’s what I came up with:

A sample page with my KWZ Inks and new swatching format

While I’m sharing my sample ink pages, I might as well share my thoughts on KWZ Inks. They have some beautiful ink colors. Amazing sheening and shading inks. As you can see from my samples, they are also wet inks.

I have to mention that KWZ Inks have a slight vanilla-ish odor. When I bought my first bottle last year, I was overwhelmed with the this scent in a pleasant way. After I filled my pen with ink, I looked forward to uncapping my pen and have this subtle scent surround me. Some folks might be ultra sensitive to this scent and I just want to share this bit of information.

Sheening and shading inks

With this new format, I can see the sheening and shading characteristics of each ink color.

KWZ Sheen Machine!

I gathered up my bottles of Jacques Herbin shimmering inks and created another swatch page. Jacques Herbin has the best shimmering inks. There I said it! I have not had any clogging issues with their shimmering inks in my pens. Their inks flow beautifully.

A sample page of my Jacques Herbin shimmering ink

The Vert Atlantide is my favorite color. It has gold and silver particles and that green color is gorgeous.

I wanted to add that I let this page dry completely. Then I remembered I needed to add the water wash. That’s why there are hard edges/lines in the samples below.

Showing just the right amount of shimmer particles
Beautiful intense colors

I wanted to mention that KWZ Inks and Jacques Herbin shimmering inks create some of the most beautiful and stunning color washes.

Pens: Automatic pen. Glass dip pen.

Journal: Stalogy 365 B5

Glass

Part of my sketching ritual includes pushing and challenging myself to create something different. Sometimes that means sketching something that makes me uncomfortable or something I have not done before. I was going through my collection of pictures and saw one that I took of three candles that made up a still life. It was a picture I used for a photography lesson I was teaching on social media a few years back.

The still life photo involved glass candle holders of different shapes and sizes and colorful sea glass. Instead of tackling all three glass candle holders in the same sketch, I decided to do one at a time. That way I could focus on one shape and not get frustrated with doing too much at one time.

Here is my recent attempt.

My pen and ink sketch called “Sea Glass 1”

I love how this one came out. I took my time sketching the roundness of the glass candle holder. I also took my time applying the layers of color. A little bit at a time without overdoing it. My final layer on the candle holder was adding some reflective colors from the sea glass.

I enjoyed my sea glass sketch so much I went ahead and started the second sketch. This time with a square glass candle holder.

My second pen and ink sketch called “Sea Glass 2”

After completing my second sketch, I noticed I was getting comfortable sketching “perspectives” and drawing it without thinking about it. What I thought was initially difficult was actually easy to accomplish.

“Sea Glass 1”

Pens: TWSBI GOs with Stub 1.1

Inks: Diamine Enchanted Ocean. Jacques Herbin Vert Atlantide. Robert Oster Heart of Gold, Sydney Lavender, Blue River, Tokyo Blue Denim, and Thunderstorm

Journal: Stillman & Birn Beta

Sea Glass 2″

Pens: TWSBI GOs with Stub 1.1

Inks: Jacques Herbin Vert Atlantide. Robert Oster Saguaro Green, Hemp, Heart of Gold, Blue River, and Sydney Lavender

Journal: Stillman & Birn Beta

A Whimsical Shell

A few weeks ago, I had created a quick sketch of a shell. It was sitting in my art journal waiting for me to apply some color. Today, I finally got around to painting this shell with some bright and happy colors. This is what I came up with:

My colorful pen and ink wash sketch

I started with this pencil sketch. Notice my pencil lines are too dark.

My rough pencil sketch.

Once the sketch was complete, I used my Preppy with Carbon ink and created a few permanent lines to represent some dark areas. I used my kneaded eraser to gently remove some of my pencil lines.

Unfortunately, I forgot to take pictures while I was applying the layers of colored inks.

Here’s the final results:

Look at all the lovely shimmering particles!

Several of my pen friends have mentioned that this colorful whimsical artwork has brought some joy in their lives during their days of gray skies and mounds of snow. I hope the happy colors are doing the same for you. Maybe just a little?

Pens: TWSBI GOs with Stub 1.1 and Platinum Prefountes with 03 Medium nibs

Inks: Jacques Herbin Vert Atlantide. Robert Oster Rose Gold Antiqua, Heart of Gold, Sydney Lavender, Saguaro Green, Melon Tea, and Thunderstorm

Journal: Stillman & Birn Beta