My Christmas Pen

Way back in August I mentioned that Hubby hand picked a beautiful fountain pen at our local pen show. I was able to spend a minute or two with this pen. I put the pen in my hand and gave it a twirl. Then I had to give the pen back to Hubby.

The remaining weeks in August were hard for me as I knew there was a brand new pen in the house and I could do nothing but wait.

Four months later and I can finally blog about my new beautiful Christmas pen hand turned by Turnt Pen Co. But wait! I need to find an ink color to match!

I flipped through my swatch cards and gravitated towards the swatches of Van Dieman’s Ink colors. Parrot Fish turned out to be a perfect match.

Okay. Now I can show you my lovely new pen!

This is the lovely Peacock resin by Dupras.

When Hubby purchased the pen, I had selected a Fine JoWo nib to go with it. Since I’m using a shimmering ink, I wanted to go with a slightly wider nib. I swapped out my Fine nib unit and replaced it with an Esterbrook Medium nib.

This is my second pen from Tim (Turnt Pen Co). I had purchased my first one in a PM4 from the same pen show.

Did I mention I’m having a wonderful time with my pen? It’s comfortable in my hand and I feel as though I could write for hours.

Right now, my Peacock is sitting in my EDW (everyday writing) pen case along with my PM4 and my Lamy 2000.

My Hubby is the best! He did a great job selecting this pen. Maybe I can penable him in the new year.

Pen: Turnt Pen Co Pynchon (model) in Peacock (Bob Dupras) with Esterbrook Medium nib.

Ink: Van Dieman’s Ink Parrot Fish (shimmer) from their Underwater Series.

Paper: Rhodia

Just Three Pens for Now and Other Things

We are just a few days away from the month of December and I have something brewing in my studio. Well not literally brewing, but it’s something that is sitting inside a brown box and waiting for December 1st to arrive. I ordered this at the end of August and received it at the end of September. So for two whole months the excitement has been building up. That’s all I will say. For now. 😃

I’m also contemplating doing a sketch/drawing a day in December. We will see how that works out as I’ll need to allocate two hours a day depending on the art medium I use. Lots of ideas and very little time to do all of my favorite hobbies. Sigh!

I wanted to share my three currently inked pens: Leonardo, Pilot, and Visconti.

I would classify these three pens as the oldest pens I have in my collection. I purchased them when I first fell into this fountain pen rabbit-hole. I thought it would be a great time to bring them into my pen rotation. They are amazing and fine writing tools. They write beautifully on all types of paper I use including plain notebook paper.

I had three bottles of ink sitting on my desk and it was easy to figure out my matching pen and ink scheme. As I’m typing this post, I’m wondering if Pilot will ever come out with other pen colors in their 823 model. I could easily enjoy an olive green or a copper colored 823. That would be so cool!

Earlier this week I was dabbling with Urban Sketching. Mostly from photographs I’ve taken. It’s a different style of sketching for me and basically learning to look and sketch quickly. I’m learning to loosen up and not worry about the details or shapes too much.

I’m hoping to take this new sketching adventure outside and in the public areas. Since it’s around 40-something degrees outside, learning to sketch quickly would be most beneficial. Now that I’m thinking about it, sitting in a warm car and sketching sounds even better. 🤣

Pens: Leonardo Momento Zero Pietra Marina (Fine). Pilot Custom 823 Amber (Fine). Visconti Vertigo Orange (Fine)

Inks: Van Dieman’s Ink Tamar Pinot Noir and Eucalyptus Regnans. Robert Oster Aussie Brown.

Paper: Rhodia

Another Van Dieman’s Ink – Tamar Pinot Noir Wine Red

Here’s the most recent fountain pen ink acquisition from Fountain Pen Day. It’s a Van Dieman’s Ink called Tamar Pinot Noir from their Original Colours of Tasmania series. It’s a beautiful red ink that is a subtle color and leans a bit towards brown. It’s a red that has some character with some shading and a tiny bit of sheen.

This has been on my wishlist for some time and was passed up several times as I selected other Van Dieman’s colors that had more sheen and/or shimmers. Now that I’ve gotten over the sheen mood (with much delight), it was time to try out what I call their basic ink colors.

It wasn’t too hard to find a fountain pen to go with this lovely ink. I thought it would be a great time to bring a few of my favorite pens back into my pen rotation. Here’s my Leonardo MZ in Pietra Marina. My Leonardo has a wonderful smooth nib and I can always count on having an enjoyable writing experience. It doesn’t hurt that the colors in this pen is gorgeous.

Okay, back to the ink! Depending on the lighting, this ink color appears to be a red wine color. When I pull my swatch card away from my lamp, the color appears to be more of a reddish coppery color. It reminds me of the underlying color in Private Reserve’s Copper Burst.

Here’s another sample swatch in my Stalogy ink journal.

It’s definitely a gorgeous red color. Not too dark and not too light. Just right!

Ink: Van Dieman’s Ink Tamar Pinot Noir Wine Red from the Original Colours of Tasmania

Fountain Pen: Leonardo Momento Zero in Pietra Marine (Fine nib)

Journal: Stalogy 365


In the early evenings, Hubby and I have been sitting outside and watching our neighborhood birds visit our bird feeders. The wrens and the finches enjoy sitting inside our caged feeder while the wood peckers, black caps, cardinals, and blue jays like come and go. Grabbing their food and flying away quickly.

Our weather this week has finally changed and it’s quite a bit cooler in the late evenings and early morning hours. I’ve started to notice an additional sound outside.

Our neighbor has a huge oak tree and the acorns are dropping. They are especially loud when hitting the pavement and sometimes getting it just right and hitting the top of their car. Hahaha!

This morning I felt inclined to sketch something fall related and acorns came to my mind.

As I mentioned in my previous posts, I’m still trying to use up the remaining Robert Oster inks in my GOs. My Van Dieman’s Inks are patiently waiting for their turn. Can you tell I’m enjoying the Eucalyptus Regnans ink color? It’s showing up in many of my pen and ink artwork. Gorgeous green color.

Pens: TWSBI GOs with Stub 1.1 nibs

Inks: Van Dieman’s Ink Eucalyptus Regnans. Robert Oster Honey Bee, Toffee, Melon Tea, and Thunderstorm

Journal: Stillman & Birn Beta A5

Journal Cover: Lochby Field Journal in brown


Here’s a quick pumpkin pen and ink sketch I completed this morning. It’s been hard to get into the Fall season when the outside temperatures have been in the high 70s and low 80s.

I’m currently working with a limited number of ink colors in my TWSBI GOs. I’m a bit late in transitioning my Summer sketch ink colors to Fall colors and I still have a few bright colors left in my GOs that I wanted to use up. This resulted in my pumpkins looking a bit lively and bright.

For those of you following me (including my fellow workshop friends), try and create a few pumpkin sketches. Use your imagination and try out different pumpkin shapes and colors.

Pens: TWSBI GOs with Stub 1.1 nibs

Inks: Van Dieman’s Ink Eucalyptus Regnans (Wilderness series). Robert Oster Toffee, Melon Tea, Honey Bee, and Thunderstorm.

Journal: Stillman & Birn Beta A5

Another Van Dieman’s Ink

You might have noticed that I’ve been accumulating several bottles from the Van Dieman’s Ink brand. They have some gorgeous and vibrant ink colors that I could not pass up.

Here is Black Tongue Spider Orchid from their Wilderness Series line.

This is one gorgeous deep magenta & pinky purple color! Beautiful shading with a bit of dark sheen that almost looks black to me. This is a wonderful wet ink that I’m sure will be lovely to sketch with.

I have three other colors from this Wilderness series including Azure Kingfisher (a gorgeous shimmer), Eucalyptus Regnans, and Devil’s Kitchen. Devil’s Kitchen might sound familiar as I wrote about this ink color a few days ago.

In all, I have around 15 bottles from this brand. That clearly shows how much I enjoy using Van Dieman’s Ink for writing and journaling.

I’ve been filling my TWSBI GOs with the my new Van Dieman’s Ink. So far, I’ve been using three colors in my pen and ink wash sketches: Eucalyptus Regnans, Beetroot Relish, and Devil’s Kitchen. They’ve been performing beautifully. Lovely wet inks.

I’m hoping to dump use up my current inks in my remaining seven TWSBI GOs and fill them all with Van Dieman’s colors. I will have to keep one TWSBI filled with Robert Oster Thunderstorm (my fave) to use for base shadows in my sketches.

I enjoy seeing an ink plan come together and I can’t wait to use these vibrant and stunning colors in my creative journey.

Pen: Esterbrook Estie OS Dreamer Purple with Franklin-Christoph 14k Extra Fine Flex nib

Ink: Van Dieman’s Ink Black Tongue Spider Orchid

Paper: Rhodia

Starting My Pen Rotation and a New Ink

I decided to start the month of October with a pen rotation. Normally, I just wait for the pen to run out of ink and then grab another pen to cycle in. I thought the best way to get started was to collect all of my recent EDWs or Every Day Writers from my pen case and desk and put them in my small plastic bin for my upcoming PCD or pen cleaning day later this week.

I mentioned in my previous post that I had several new ink bottles that were sitting on my desk for the last few weeks. This will give me an opportunity to try out the new ink colors and enjoy the writing experiences.

Before I get into one of my new inks, I wanted to show off a gorgeous nib I received recently with my Monteverde pen. I had my eye on this Innova Carbon Fiber Rainbow pen and to my surprise I was able to select a colorful Omniflex nib to go with this pen. This limited edition pen’s trim is called PVD Rainbow.

I remembered I had my Conklin Duragraph Black Matte with Rainbow trim currently sitting in my pen rotation queue. I think the rainbow Omniflex nib would also look stunning in my Conklin pen.

As you can see from the picture, my Monteverde Innova pen has a lot of pink in the rainbow trim. I decided to do a match with a less predominant color and went with something close to a dark teal color like Devil’s Kitchen.

I did not realize how much I enjoyed this Van Dieman’s Ink color until I started to swatch this ink. This is a beautiful wet ink and the teal color is absolutely stunning. This ink produces an amazing amount of shading along with a bit of pink sheen. I know this ink will be a joy to sketch with as it is gorgeous to write with.

Pen: Monteverde 20th Anniversary LE Innova Carbon Fiber Rainbow with Rainbow Omniflex nib

Ink: Van Dieman’s Ink Devil’s Kitchen

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.

My Sketches – Using My Van Dieman’s Inks

Here’s a few quick sketches I did this week using my Van Dieman’s Ink.

Here is Sea Turtle. It’s a lovely vibrant green ink. I used a bit of Robert Oster Melon Tea to make my turtle sketch pop a bit.

On my swatch card there’s a ton of pinky-red sheen.

I used my Pilot Prera with Calligraphy Medium (CM) nib to create this sketch.

Another lovely color from their Underwater series is Royal Starfish. This is a unique purple ink color with pink and blue undertones (depending on paper used).

On Rhodia paper

Here is my feather sketch. The pink and blue undertones are absolutely gorgeous.

Here is a shimmering beauty called Parrot Fish. A vibrant teal green color with purple shimmering particles.

I enjoy seeing this ink slosh around in my TWSBI ECO.

I have to add while using this particular shimmering ink, I’ve had a few clogging issues with my ECO. I gave my bottle a couple of shakes to get the shimmering particles to blend with the ink. I immediately filled my pen with ink. That was part of my clogging problem. Too much shimmer in my pen. I should have waited 45 seconds to let the particles settle a bit in the bottle and then fill my pen. You can see from my writing sample I had a lot of shimmer across my journal page.

I ended up storing my pen overnight with it’s nib up. The next morning I still had a clog issue. I could see a clump of shimmer on my nib. I dipped the nib and feed into a jar of water and wiped the nib clean. I wrote out two pages with my pen to get the initial shimmer flowing. Now, my pen sits (horizontal) on my studio desk with no clogging issues. Life is very good!

I have three more Van Dieman’s inks to swatch and sketch with and hope to have some time this weekend to play with them. I’m enjoying this ink brand and it’s becoming a favorite of mine. Right up there with Diamine and Robert Oster.

Inks: Van Dieman’s Ink Underwater Series: Sea Turtle, Royal Starfish, and Parrot Fish (shimmer)

Pens: TWSBI GO with Stub 1.1 nib. Pilot Prera Transparent Pink with Calligraphy Medium (CM) nib. TWSBI ECO Clear with Stub 1.1 nib.

Papers/Journals: Rhodia. Canson Mixed Media. Stillman & Birn Beta. Stillman & Birn Alpha.

A Few Van Dieman’s Inks

My first foray into Van Dieman’s inks was sometime last year when I received a complementary sample vial. I started to see a few online pen shops carry this brand of ink. I did a swatch from the sample vial of Blackened Seas (The Midnight Series) and knew I would eventually want a bottle of this stunning blue/black ink color.

Van Dieman’s Ink is a small business run by a husband & wife team located in Tasmania. They design and mix their own bottles of inks. They are high quality inks that have been tested for flow and viscosity. Suitable for all major brands of fountain pens and also for dip pens and brush work.

Over the last few months I saw additional ink colors in different series appear on my radar. Most recently I came across their Underwater Series and just the names of the new ink colors really intrigued me.

In one of the boxes I received I notice some ink inside the box.

I immediately checked my hands to see if the lid was cracked when I pulled the bottle out of the box. Nothing on my fingers. I then gave the cap a quick twist and found the lid was slightly loose. Given the amount of ink inside the box, the lid must have come loose during shipping.

Check out this lovely sheen in Sea Urchin. This ink color looks black in certain lighting, but also appears to have some purple undertones. Look at that green sheen!

Another beautiful ink color is Sea Turtle. It’s a bright green color with a bright pinky-red sheen.

Here is Parrot Fish a stunning shimmering ink color. It’s a bright teal color with bright/light blue-purple shimmering particles. Absolutely stunning to look at!

I have not put this gorgeous ink into a pen. I noticed after I shook the bottle and opened it, I saw a sparkling glob sitting on the side of the bottle’s neck. That told me that this ink needs a bit more mixing. Anyways, I’m looking for a really wet pen to partner with this ink. I’m not too sure what to expect with this shimmering ink. I will come back and update this post with the results.

Here’s my Van Dieman’s swatches in my ink journal. Disregard my Papier Plume Red Beans & Rice swatch that I forgot to swatch on a different page. Hahaha!

The three swatches at the bottom of my swatch page are sample vials of colors I wanted to try before committing to a purchasing a bottle. I’m really intrigued with Royal Starfish as it’s a pretty purple ink color with some green-gold sheen.

I’m looking forward to cleaning a few pens and filling them with these lovely Underwater inks. I will be back to share my experiences and especially with the shimmering Parrot Fish ink.

Inks: Van Dieman’s Underwater Series: Sea Turtle, Sea Urchin, and Parrot Fish (shimmer). The Midnight Series: Blackened Seas

Journal: Stalogy 365 B6