Day 22: My Eggplant Purple Swatches

Today’s Diamine Inkvent color is Deck the Halls. It’s a stunning chameleon ink with rose gold and copper shimmers. As more folks are posting this lovely ink color on social media, I’m seeing a purple color leaning towards red. The first thought that popped into my head was eggplant.

T’s swatch shows a pretty display of rose and gold shimmers.

Since this is called a chameleon ink, I expected to see two different shimmers in this ink. I can definitely see some rose and gold shimmers from T’s bottle.

I mentioned in my last blog post how I enjoy a good medium to dark pink color. I also enjoy a good purple leaning red color. You can see from my selection, this purple is also one of my fave colors.

I enjoy having a good range of colors. Each one has a unique personality or two.

I tried to narrow down my selection.

Sunset has a pretty rose gold shimmer.

If I had to choose three colors from inky collection, it would be these three.

Sydney Lavender and Summer Purple are my favorite purple ink colors.

Here’s a pen & ink wash circle I created back in November showing off Sydney Lavender’s underlying colors. Gorgeous, huh?

Yes, I will be adding Deck the Halls to my wish list as I do not have an eggplant ink color with the rose, gold and coppery shimmering particles.

Ink swatches: Diamine Red Inkvent Harmony. Diamine Frosted Orchid (shimmer). Robert Oster Sydney Lavender, Velvet Crush, and Silver Dawn (shimmer). Kaweco Summer Purple. Montblanc Amethyst. Van Dieman’s Ink Black Tongue Spider Orchid and Beetroot Relish. Dominant Industry Sunset (shimmer).

Pausing for Station Identification: Most of My Swatch Cards

Today is day 3 of the Diamine inky calendar. I’m pausing my blog as I need to spend some time tackling today’s unique chameleon inky color and find some decent matches from my collection.

Speaking of my swatch collection, I wanted to share with my readers what I look at when I typically see a color I’m interested in. Do I have this particular color in my collection? For example, for the first few weeks of December what swatches come close to the daily colors I see. What is the base color? What are the underlying colors? Is there any sheen and how much? If it’s a shimmering, what color(s) do I see?

I process a lot of color information in my head and as a watercolor artist who enjoys mixing paint colors, I tend to see a range of colors that an average person may not see or recognize at first. Okay, let’s get back to my blog post on swatch cards.

I create and keep swatches of the many bottles of inks I have in my collection. The pictures in this blog post does not include the sample ink vials I also have. Awhile back, I’ve stopped swatching the many vials of ink as they were a waste of time for me and resources. If the color did not appeal to me, why create a swatch card?

Let me introduce to you to my largest swatch collection on a rather large binder ring. Here is my Robert Oster Signature swatch ring.

Yes, I am a big fan of Robert Oster inky colors. I’ve lost count on the number of bottles I have. I’ve probably used half of his colors in one of my many pen & ink wash sketches. My RO shimmering colors are at the front of my ring (upper right) and stop at the white Col-o-ring card. This rather large collection is organized by colors. I enjoy using these inks for writing in my journals and for my pen & ink washes on a variety of art paper.

My next largest binder ring is a collection that contains several of my favorite inky manufacturers. This ring is organized by ink manufacturers and colors. This ring includes Birmingham, Colorverse, Diamine, Jacques Herbin, Platinum, Private Reserve, Rohrer & Klingner, Sailor, Taccia, Van Dieman’s Ink, and Vinta Inks. These are the inks I would use for both writing and sketching in my journals and art papers.

My next largest ring contains a smattering of bottles of inks I have, but may not use the ink on a regular basis. Many bottles/colors end up on this ring which I would use for writing in my journals and not necessary use in my inky sketches. This ring is organized by ink manufacturer and color.

Here’s is my swatch family together.

I do have smaller rings of swatch cards. For example I keep all my Red Inkvent swatch cards on a smaller 1″ binder ring. I keep a small ring for my shimmering inks organized by color. That ring includes shimmering inks from various ink manufacturers. My Anderillium test swatches are still in its own ring.

When I have a few minutes later today I’ll try to remember to capture pictures of the other smaller rings I have and update this blog post.

In the meantime, I need to pull out my swatch cards for today’s chameleon inky color.

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″

Spring is Definitely in the Air with Opus 88

I was able to snag an Opus 88 fountain pen called Love in Bloom. I originally pre-ordered it with a Medium nib and received an email from the retailer that they had a Fine and a Broad nib available and could send it immediately. I shifted gears and went with a Fine nib.

Opus 88 Omar, Opus 88 Mini, & Lamy 2000

After a few days of delays which included waiting for my pen to be shipped, then delivered to wrong address, and finally received, I was able to fill my new pen with Summer Purple.

My Opus 88 is definitely a mini pen and measures about 4-5/8 inches or 117.3mm in length and weighs around 24grams. It’s a tiny bit shorter than my TWSBI Vac Mini, Pilot Stargazer, and Pilot Prera.

TWSBI Vac Mini, Pilot Stargazer, Opus 88 Mini, Sailor Pro Gear Haruzora, & Pilot Prera

After I checked the nib with a loupe, I had a gut feeling that this pen would have a dry writing experience. I originally filled my pen with Van Dieman’s Ink Parrot Fish (shimmering) and it immediately clogged my pen. That was a bad idea. I emptied the ink into a vial to reuse in another pen. I flushed my new pen with some water and went to Plan B and Summer Purple.

Summer Purple had been on my inky wishlist and I finally had a bottle sent to me a few weeks ago. Yes, it sat on my studio desk and patiently waited for a swatch to be made and the right pen to be filled.

Summer Purple is a gorgeous ink color. It’s a pinky-purple color with a lovely golden sheen. This color reminds me of the bright colored eggplant you would find in Asia and not the dark purple ones here in the US.

This pen and ink combination makes me very happy.

I have a good feeling that this ink will make its way into one of my TWSBI GOs and I’m looking forward to sketching with this gorgeous ink color.

The Opus 88 Mini does not post. Yes, I tried to post my pen and the cap flew off immediately. Some pen-folks may not enjoy writing with this short pen. In my hand, I can feel that it is a short and stubby pen. The tapered section is shorter than my Omar and holds a #5 JoWo nib. Personally, I would have preferred a #6 nib on this small sized pen.

It’s a cute mini pen. It’s a pocket pen. It’s a travel pen. It’s small enough to fit in most pen cases. It’s an eyedropper pen that holds a large amount of ink. It’s a pen that looks absolutely lovely on my desk. I’m sure there will be more mini pen designs in the near future.

Pen: Opus 88 Mini Pocket Pen in Love in Bloom (Endless Pens Exclusive 2022) with Fine nib

Ink: Kaweco Summer Purple

Paper: Rhodia

Independent Pen Manufacturer – Schon DSGN

I believe in supporting small businesses. Especially now. One independent pen manufacturer that’s been a reliable fountain pen source for me is Franklin-Christoph. I feel as though I am getting a complete package deal. Quality products, quality control, and fantastic customer service. This is a check list for me when I look at other pen manufacturers.

There are many independent pen manufacturers in the US. Many have websites and a few strictly do business via Instagram.

I have shopped with a pen manufacturer on IG. It’s a different type of shopping experience. It starts with a picture of a beautiful fountain pen or a tray of stunning pens posted on their IG page. I have had opportunities to ask for additional pictures and even a video of a pen twirl. There’s a lot of back and forth messaging as a lot of the important information (like pen specs) are not specified (no website). I see many folks who know what they are purchasing and enjoy these quick purchases/transactions. That’s why many pens are sold quickly when I see them on IG.

I prefer to do my window-shopping through a website. That way I can see pictures and descriptions of the pen products. Make comparisons. Tell myself I do not need another pen. Change my mind. Make a decision.

A few months ago, a compact pocket pen kept appearing on my radar. I remember seeing this aluminum pen with swirls of colors at one of the online pen shops. I also saw a few YouTube videos where folks were writing with these compact cartridge pens by Schon DSGN.

I went to this independent pen manufacturer’s website to look at their pen offerings. There were several Pocket Six models including multicolor with matching grip, solid brass, solid copper, facet anodized aluminum and a custom option. I knew I wanted the multicolor offering with matching grip. I had a hard time deciding which color scheme I wanted. I narrowed it down to my favorite colors of blue and purple and selected LaCroiy. I had a choice of a variety of nib tip widths from Extra Fine to Stub 1.5. I selected a Fine nib.

My Schon DSGN fountain pen arrived this morning and I dropped what I was doing to take pictures and enjoy my lovely compact pen.

Schon DSGN Pocket Six in LaCroiy with matching grip

Here’s a few pictures from my unboxing.

A wonderful surprise! A complementary pocket notebook was included.
Lovely packaging which included a complementary pocket notebook, thank you card, stickers, ink cartridges, and my LaCroiy pen.
Definitely a new pen day for me!
The back of the plastic pen box shows how to insert the ink cartridge

As you can see from my picture, my pocket pen is quite small.

Beautiful color combination

The “six” in the Pocket Six name refers to the nib size of this pen. Yes, that is a JoWo #6 Fine nib in my compact pen.

It’s so cute!

Uncapped, the pen is really tiny. There are threads at the end of the body where the cap screws in. Here’s another picture of my Pocket Six posted.

It looks like a normal size pen when posted

This aluminum pen is lightweight and well made. It’s comfortable to hold and I feel as though I could write for hours. I like that it has a somewhat long grip/section that is pleasantly shaped. Even with my joint issues, I have not experienced any writing discomfort or twisting the pen while I write.

I do notice my writing experience with this compact pen and a larger nib. It’s an enjoyable experience and my fingers are not cramped, but more relaxed. I know it has to do with the angle of writing with a #6 nib versus a tiny Kaweco Sport nib and it shows in my handwriting. This is a winning combination for me as this pen feels well balanced in my hand.

Sometime last year I noticed Schon DSGN had switched their standard nib offerings from Bock to JoWo. I’m glad I waited on purchasing this pen. Some of you may remember that I love swapping around my JoWo #6 nib units between different pen manufacturers. Now, I can use my F-C #6 nib units (italic, SIG, flex) with this pocket pen. Do you see how my mind works?

After spending some quality time with my Pocket Six pen, I pulled out my other compact pen a Kaweco Sport. It’s only natural that I show a comparison of the two pens.

Wow! Look at the size difference!
When posted, they are almost the same length!

I mentioned how I enjoy my writing experiences with #6 nibs. Check out the nib size between the two pocket pens:

Nib size comparisons with Schon DSGN on the left and my Kaweco Sport on the right

Knowing that it’s made of aluminum, I won’t be able to eyedropper this pen. I can only use short international cartridges and I don’t mind refilling my spent ink cartridges with the ink of my choice.

Reasons why Schon DSGN caught my attention:

  • Lovely fountain pen design
  • Small and compact
  • Durable and well made. There’s an o-ring inside the cap that creates a nice seal when the pen is capped.
  • Large nib size (#6 JoWo)
  • Can swap the nib unit and use the standard JoWo nib units from other pen manufacturers
  • Selection of pen colors and finishes
  • It’s sooooo cute!

I’ve been so busy playing with my pen and taking pictures that I forgot to do a writing sample. I’ll be back later today to include a picture and add any interesting features I uncover about my pen.

Pen: Schon DSGN Pocket 6 in LaChoiy with JoWo #6 Fine nib

Ink: Diamine Steel Blue (cartridge)

Pocket Pens by Kaweco (Eyedropper)

The other day. I was going through a drawer and saw my Pilot Stargazer staring back at me. It’s a black pen and so no ink colors popped into my head. Just in case, I removed my pen from the drawer and placed it on my desk. For future use. It dawned on me I should do a blog post on pocket pens. I thought about the pockets pens I have in my collection. Oh my. Too many to ink up at one time. Because I know you would want to see a writing sample from each pen. I have temporarily put that on my to-do-list after the Holidays and after I clean a dozen more pens currently inked.

I started a post about pocket pens and never finished it. It was about my newly acquired Kawecos (sometime between Fountain Pen Day and Black Friday and Cyber Monday). I have some experience with this brand as I had purchased two AL Sport models in Rose Gold (Fine) and Stonewash Blue (Medium) sometime last year. I enjoyed using the aluminum pens and with the small international cartridges refilled with ink.

My Kaweco AL Sport pens in Rose Gold (F) and Stonewash Blue (EF). The aluminum pens are lightweight and comfortable to write with when posted.

Recently, I saw references to eyedropper versions and of course that meant more ink capacity. That’s a plus for me. The AL or aluminum versions can not be used as an eyedropper pen.

Kaweco has several models of their pocket pens and then several different colors. My research came up with Kaweco Classic Sport, Skyline Sport, Ice Sport and the Frosted Sport. The noted pen models are made of resin and can also be used as an eyedropper pen. A little bit of the dense silicone grease on the section threads and that should work. No. I haven’t tried it yet, but I definitely will.

The Classic Sport pens have a gold trim and gold plated stainless steel nib. The Skyline Sport has chrome trim and stainless steel nib. The Ice Sport has a clear transparent body with transparent colored caps with chrome trim and stainless steel nib. This Ice Sport model reminds me of a demonstrator style pen. The Frosted Sport comes in a “frosted” resin with chrome trim and stainless steel nib. Are you still with me? Or have I lost you? Just remember the Classic and Skyline are similar opaque models. The only difference is the trim and nib color. Classic=gold. Skyline=chrome. Ice=demonstrator-style. Frosted=frosted.

One of my new additions is a US-exclusive pen called Black Crystal. This is a clear transparent pen with black trim and includes a black clip, mini-piston converter, and a box of Pearl Black cartridges. The special black nib has a DLC (Diamond-like Coating) and is suppose to be extremely durable. I snagged the last one from an online shop in an EF nib.

My three Kawecos with ink cartridges and in different size nibs. Oooops! I should have wrote my sample by nib size order.

The extra fine nib has feedback, which I do not mind. As I go up in nib size, there is less feedback and of course, the nibs feel smoother.

I purchased the clear demonstrator-style pens with the intent of using them as an eyedropper pen. To see the ink color. To see how much ink is left in the pen. The Chess or black pen came about as I could not decide which bright color I wanted. In the end I should have chosen the “coconut” color which is semi-transparent. I might just use the black pen with cartridges I can refill.

Here’s a picture to give you an idea of the size in comparison to my TWSBI Vac Mini:

Looks like my TWSBI needs a spa treatment. It’s now in the cleaning bin.

I’m pretty sure everyone who owns a Kaweco Sport pen writes with their pens posted.

The nibs are tiny and looks to be similar size as my TWSBI Vac Mini nib.

I have two Ice Sports arriving before the end of the year. Looks like Kaweco is discontinuing this demonstrator-style pen model. I plan on using them as eyedropper pens as well.


The mini converters are optional or additional $. I have not used the Kaweco converters as they do not hold enough ink to last for a few days. I would use the tiny converter if I was trying out a new ink color or brand that I wasn’t sure about. Or if I had a small vial of ink to use up, the converter would come in handy for this.

Use the short standard international cartridges and refill with your own ink colors. Especially for the aluminum or metal pens that can not be converted to eyedropper pens.

The resin pens are packaged in a narrow cardboard box. The aluminum and exclusive pens are packaged in a metal case. The tin case can hold two Kaweco sport pens or can store your ink cartridges. I’ve also used them to store mini pans of watercolor paints. Lots of reuse for the metal case.

I’m on the fence when it comes to the optional clips. I don’t think they are necessary. I really like the slim looking pens. They usually sit on my desk or in a case. The faceted cap prevents my pens from rolling around.

The Kaweco Sport pens will fit in the front pockets of your denim jeans. That’s how I carry mine around. Remember, the pens are lightweight and sometimes I forget I have the pen in my pocket. So. Remember. To remove them from your pockets. Before washing your jeans.

Okay. One more picture. They’re so cute!