My Ink…Finally Arrived

Note: This had nothing to do with shipping issues, other than my bottle of ink made a pit stop in Houston on Christmas eve before arriving to its final destination. I’ve been waiting for this ink since the middle of September.

What say you? I did a pre-order for this ink. I knew just by looking at the color that this ink would be special. I waited. Patiently. Saw other online shops were slowly getting their inventory. There were a few times I was going to jump ship and go with another online store, but I was getting a really good price for this ink. So, I waited some more. My online shop of choice was more than likely going to be the last one to get theirs. They did. Right before Christmas. They immediately shipped my bottle which probably ended up in one of those USPS pictures you saw where boxes were piled so high at the sorting facility. Hahaha!

Introducing Jacques Herbin’s latest addition: Vert Atlantide. This ink was worth the wait!

You can see in the picture that my Conklin Abalone was going to be a perfect match for this Jacques Herbin Vert Atlantide. Not my chrome trim version, but my rose gold version.

Now, I have prior experience with using Jacques Herbin shimmering inks. Personally, it’s the best shimmering ink to use in a non-vintage fountain pen. Jacques Herbin shimmering inks are wet inks. They have less shimmering particles in their inks versus Diamine or Robert Oster. It would appear that the pens would be easier to clean. It is, but you still may have some shimmering residuals to deal with. Still, it won’t be loads of particles that you would see from the other two brands I just mentioned. Okay. Onto more pictures….

I actually made a mistake in my sketch of the bottle. There’s a lighter green shade at the bottom of the bottle that’s not the Vert Atlantide ink. I accidentally picked up the wrong pen which had Monteverde Olivine and used it for the shadows. Ooooops! Still, looks pretty cool!

Note: Make sure you read my caption in the picture. Ooooops! That’s what happens when I have too many pens on my desk and reach for the wrong one while I’m sketching.

This Vert Atlantide shimmering ink is…beautiful! I love a good green color. Not too dark and not too light or bright. This one lands right in the middle. I was going through my other color swatches and the closest color that I have (non-shimmering) is Robert Oster Sydney Darling Harbour. So, if you are looking for a shimmering version of Sydney Darling Harbour…Vert Atlantide is a great choice.

I think Robert Oster has the closest match. You can also see how dry the Graf von Faber-Castell ink is in comparison to the other two. That’s what I typically find with Faber-Castell…they are dry inks.

I gave my bottle a good shake and checked the bottom of the bottle to make sure no shimmers were stuck. After a good shaking (of any bottle), l always do my ink swatches. That gives the ink time to mix, settle, and bubbles to disappear. After the swatching, I can give the ink bottle a gentle shake and fill my pen.

When I was filling my Abalone pen, I made sure I dipped my pen all the way into the shimmers. I wanted to see everything this ink had to offer!

You can see how much shimmer is on my swatch card, including my writing. There’s silver and gold shimmers!

You can see how wet this ink is on my swatch card. Hardly any streaks towards the bottom. Oh the shimmers! Not too much to distract from the color. Beautiful intense ink color. Easy on the eyes to read. Oh and did I mention the subtle shimmers of silver and gold?

Remember to ignore the light green at the bottom 1/3 of the bottle. Wrong color. My boo-boo.

This “350” ink is an anniversary ink celebrating the launch of the Jacques Herbin brand in 1670 (Paris). It’s a limited edition ink. I’m not sure what that means, but there are still plenty of bottles available online.

Jacques Herbin did a great job with this color and the blend of different shimmers. This might be my favorite shimmer for 2020. That says a lot about this ink.

My First Benu Fountain Pen

I found Benu and Galen Leather under our tree and in person!

Just wanted to say that I have an awesome Hubby. He supports me in all the hobbies I have under my belt. Whether it’s my left brain for building home computers (years ago) and enjoying new gadgets or my right brain that sews masks (currently), puts vinyl designs on coffee cups and water jugs, creates little watercolor paintings for gifts, and “dabbles” in pen and ink. Did you get all that? He supports me and is my cheerleader.

Naturally, he had asked me “what do you want for Christmas”? Only this time, it was a bit earlier than usual to ask. I have to mention. Here and right now. My man does not like to shop. In the stores. When he needs work clothes (works at a nursery/garden center), we go out one day for a few hours and pick out some rugged pants and all weather boots. Try them on. We are done. For the year.

I knew he would need some help and we had plenty of time. I mentioned to him about a Bora Bora pen. I mentioned Galen Leather and I helped him out by placing the orders.

It’s one thing to see pictures of pens and desk accessories and then to know they are in boxes hidden away for several weeks. Hahaha!

Which brings me to the above picture. I did not realize I would be getting a pad of Tomoe River Paper to match my new pen! How cool is that?! Oh yeah, more pictures of the pen…please. Here it is! My Benu Euphoria in Bora Bora!

My first Benu pen. Sitting on the Galen mahogany pen rest.
I think we need a closer look at the colors.

I took the cap off the pen and grabbed my loupe. To check the nib and tines. Yes. I always do that to a new pen. Looked perfect. I did a few scribbles and I could tell the nib would be smooth. I went ahead and grabbed my Col-o-ring ink swatch cards to see which Robert Oster ink would become one with my new pen. Fire and Ice!

I dipped my pen into the bottle and filled the included converter up with ink. Screwed the body into the pen went to add an entry in my Ink Journal and got nothing. On paper. I tried a few scribbles. Nothing. What?!

I grabbed my loupe and checked the tines. I could see “daylight” between the tines. Ummm…that would be good to see when there is no ink in the pen. Not in this case. I just filled this pen and there should be ink in between the tines to suggest flow.

I did notice at the tip of the nib I could not see “daylight”. No space. At all.

A light bulb popped into my head. I went looking for a brass shim that I purchased last year from Goulet. I never had to use it until now. The brass shim is an extremely thin sheet of brass. It’s used to file away metal.

I stuck a small corner of the brass shim in between the tines and gently pulled it towards the tip and then away from the nib. Tried to write a few more squiggles on paper and nothing. I placed the corner of the shim again in between the tines and this time I gently moved the shim up and down towards the tip and moved the shim up and down on the tip once and then away from the nib. That worked brilliantly! I double checked the nib with my loupe and sure enough the space between the tines had ink. I grabbed my Ink Journal and made an entry.

You can see the brass shim on the lower left. Take a look at the upper corner of the shim and you can see marks from where the shim was in contact with my pen’s tines/tip. It really does work!

I was able to write with my new pen and oh it was a joy to see the ink flowing onto my paper. Check out my writing sample.

All I can say is Wow! Another EDC for me! Extremely smooth writing experience.

I think we need a closer look at this beauty.

Love the silver and gold shimmery effect with the turquoise background.

I’m impressed with this Benu pen. It’s lightweight. Comfortable in my hand. Well balanced as I write with it. I’m getting used to not posting my pens. This model can be posted, it just lengthens the pen a bit. I do not notice any imbalance when posted.

This pen is well made. It comes with a converter and a long international ink cartridge. That’s a huge plus for me as I prefer to use long cartridges (when I can) and its huge ink capacity.

The nib. My pen has a Medium nib. A Schmidt nib. It is smooooooth! Hardly any feedback. Unbelievable pen. It’s now my second fave pen. Right behind my Estie OS Sparkle Montana Sapphire. Yeah, I know. Wow!


Using a brass shim. I would use the shim only when needed. It removes metal in a fine manner. That’s why I used it gently. Remember a little bit at a time. To give you an idea, I had no reason to use one until now.

A Pen & Ink Sketch on Christmas Day

A Christmas day stocking. When the sketching mood hits, I have to grab my pens and just draw something.

So, this sketch is a much more subdued pen and ink drawing. More thought was put into it. Placement of object(s) on my paper, angle of the stocking, shading, etc. Still trying to avoid getting into the details. Sketch loosely. Leaving enough white on the paper. That’s a hard one for me. The white areas you see in the stocking have no ink and no water in that area. That’s where my happy surprises come about. While I would love to see soft edges, hard edges are just as nice. Plus when the ink and water dries, the sketch looks different.

That poinsettia sketch in the previous post was pretty wild. I enjoyed the spontaneous process of not thinking about it too much when I had my inky nibs on the paper. Then I had to figure out when to stop. Because I was having too much fun. Playing with all the beautiful colors. Like the bold reds!

Robert Oster Signature inks used: Red Candy, No Fixed Address (shimmer), Thunderstorm, Silent Nite, Eucalyptus Leaf, Peppermint, and Heart of Gold (shimmer).

Fountain Pens: TWSBI GOs Stub 1.1

Water brush: Pentel

Journal: Stillman & Birn Zeta


Sketch loosely. Don’t get lost in the details. Objects closer to me will show more details. Objects further away will have less and can be blurred.

Work in layers and let each layer dry before adding more color or more water.

Perfection doesn’t exist in my art vocabulary. Practice sketching daily. Quick sketches. Sketch shapes and shadows. Things around the desk, the kitchen, food, cups, tools, etc.

Keep a pad of paper or a journal on the desk/creative place for quick doodles. (Oh…this sounds like a great idea for a future post).

Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays!

My quick sketch using fountain pens and inks. Journal: Stillman & Birn Zeta

Good Morning! I’m listening to an upbeat Christmas music channel as I’m typing up this post. So, if you can picture this. I’m be-bopping along in my chair as I type. Hahaha!

Okay. Back to our regularly scheduled program….

That’s my poinsettia sketch I managed to get done yesterday. I did a quick outline sketch using my Platinum Preppy 02 EF filled with Platinum Carbon ink. I used my TWSBI GOs and went over a few lines of the leaves using my favorite Robert Oster Signature inks: Red Candy, No Fixed Address (can see the subtle blue shimmers), Peppermint, Eucalyptus Leaf, and Heart of Gold (gold shimmers of course). I did add a bit Diamine Golden Ivy to outline the green leaves with a bit of golden shimmers.

My tools used for my poinsettia sketch (top to bottom): Platinum Prefounte, TWSBI GOs, Platinum Preppy, and Pentel water brush

So, when do I apply my water wash? Before, during, or after I apply all the ink? It’s during. I work my sketch by applying ink in sections of my artwork. For example, I apply the two red colors to three petals located in the same area. They I take my Pental water brush and give the area a quick swipe of water. Just one swipe to get the water to blend with paper and ink. I go and work on another area and do the same. It’s important to let each area dry.

I’ve been working on creating “loose” artwork. It’s hard as I want to draw the details and I have to tell myself. Stop it. Just wing it. Just create it. Just do it. Yes, I’m still be-bopping along! Hahaha!

Enjoy your Christmas and Holiday!

Squirrel Shenanigans

I’m taking a break from my hobbies and decided to write about funny things that surround me. Hubby and I are always laughing about something. Stories we share of funny things that happen while he’s at work or for me while at home.

So I grabbed my camera. Oh. That’s a hobby. I suppose I’m not taking a break after all. I saw our neighborhood squirrels gathering around. Looking for something to eat. Naturally, they stopped in our yard.

Here’s a picture for you to create your own caption/thought:

What was the first thought that came to your mind when you saw this picture? Something funny, right?

Squirrels are clever. They are silly too. Some are bold and wait for me to come within inches before they run off. Hubby gently says to me “you know, they might jump on you”. Now he tells me.

This one is clever. He can’t get to the food source at the center of this bird feeder. He does reach across and “scoops” the remnant pieces of seeds close to his mouth. At least he’s getting some exercise.

We have several bird feeders scattered around our yard. This will be our first time feeding the birds through the winter months. I’m looking forward to seeing who shows up and getting some photo ops. In the meantime, squirrels will have to do.

I had a funny feeling that we were playing a game of “red light, green light” and when I pointed my camera, he just “froze” in place. Hahaha!
Poor guy! He’s frustrated that he can’t get to the caged feed cake, while his buddy decides to climb up to the open platform feeder.
He’s finally figured it out, but not for long. The squirrel eventually pushes from the bottom and the feed cake moves up and away from his reach.
I enjoy watching them go up and down and getting a good workout.

Eventually the squirrels get frustrated/tired and leave. A few minutes later, the birds arrive.

Coming in for a landing!
I think this one is having a bad hair day.
The smaller birds feel safe inside this wide cage.
This one likes to “grab and go” with his seed selection.
I see you!

This slim feeder is a favorite for the larger birds (blue jays and cardinals) and it’s also somewhat squirrel proof. When the heavy squirrel grabs the wire cage, the cage slides down and covers the openings.

I’ll be back later with additional pictures. Enjoy your day!

Another PCD! My Platinum Loyalty

I quickly gave some of my pens a quick bath down at my kitchen sink. I’m back in my studio tending to my pens for the rest of my Pen Cleaning Day process.

I scanned my PCD bin and saw that they were mostly my lovely Platinum pens. I Love My Platinum Fountain Pens! There I said it. I just promoted my devotion to this brand. Platinum has now become number one in book. It’s unseated my previous number one…Pilot. Now. I’m talking about Japanese pen brands.

So how does a brand rank for me? We all know that nib swapping is important to me. I have to omit this pen function for Japanese brands. So, we all know that Japanese nibs can not be swapped around. Many of the brands have warnings. Voided warranties. Break the pen while trying to pull out nibs, twisting out nib units, or break the feed…not covered under their warranties.

The other pen function that is important to me is cleaning and maintenance. If I can’t take apart my pen, how easy is it? To clean. Not just regular ink, how about shimmers?

Today, I found this out with my Platinum pens. Specifically my Platinum Prefountes. I had my Jacques Herbin Cornaline de Egypte ink in my Prefounte from the beginning of August of this year. That’s four months that this shimmering ink has been sitting in my Prefounte pen. I had also converted this pen to an eyedropper pen. I used it every now and then. Maybe every two weeks. When I would need to use an orange shimmering ink for writing or sketching. The Prefounte wrote brilliantly when I put the nib to paper. No hard starts or drying out. That’s because of the Platinum “slip ‘n seal” caps.

I should add that I kept my Prefountes lying around on my desk. Horizontal. No storing nibs up in this case.

You can see all the orange shimmers in the section. My thoughts were this will take some time to get all this out.

Four months of shimmering ink in this pen. No problem.

After the bath, I placed the section nib down into a jar filled with paper towels. I used my pipette to drop water into the section and let the water do its thing. Thirty minutes later and to my amazement, the section is clear of most shimmers or ink residuals. It bled out into my paper towel.

Look at all the ink that flowed out from the section!

Now, I have two additional Prefountes that had been filled with normal ink (from the end of September) and you can see the sections are filled with ink.

Here the blue inks made their way throughout the whole section of my pen. Don’t forget to clean the rubber rings.
You can actually see the ink being pulled from the nib onto the paper towel. I drop water into the top of the sections and let the water flow out through the nib.

Now your mileage may vary on how easy it is to clean fountain pens. Like the Jacques Herbin shimmering inks are light with their shimmering particles. I do have additional Prefountes filled with Diamine shimmering inks. Filled around the same time I used my Cornaline de Egypte ink. I will report back how well the Diamine shimmers clean out of those pens. My goal for the end of this year is to give my remaining inked pens a good bath.

My current pens that ended up getting their spa treatments: Platinum 3776 Century Chartres Blue, Platinum Procyon Luster Rose Gold, Platinum Prefounte, Montegrappa Elmo Blue Cross Gentian, and TWSBI Vac Mini.

My PCD bin. I use this bin to hold pens that need to be cleaned. When the bin is filled with more than five pens, it’s time for a bath.
After rinsing ink out of the converters, I will let them sit for a few hours with water. Eventually, I will dump out the water and let the converters dry on my desk.

Now to go and take apart my TWSBI Vac Mini and give that a good scrubbing….

Leonardo Momento Zero

My first Italian pen was a Visconti Rembrandt in a purple color. I ordered an extra fine nib and stumbled upon a unique nib that came with that pen. The etched writing on my nib said Calligraphy. The extra fine nib had a crisp edge and I enjoyed the writing style I was able to produce on paper. The nib made my handwriting look a bit artsy. Visconti opened my eyes and enabled me to consider other Italian brands.

I saw a pen color called Blue Hawaii. It kept popping up on my radar. I first saw one at the local pen show I attended. I knew it would be a future purchase. On my wish list.

I finally purchased my first Leonardo around the same time I purchased my first bottle of Robert Oster ink. I paired my Blue Hawaii with Rhodium (exclusive pen) trim and extra fine nib with the beautiful Frankly Blue ink and that was the start of a lovely pen and ink relationship. A few weeks later, I found a great deal with the Dark Horn color with a stub 1.5 nib and paired it with Thunderstorm. That was the largest stub nib I had in my pen collection (still is) and I was floored at how bold this pen wrote. It took me awhile to get used to this interesting nib and figure out the best writing style.

Another few weeks passed and I saw a new version of Blue Hawaii in Matte Black with Ruthenium trim (another exclusive pen) and nabbed an extra fine nib. I filled that pen with Fire and Ice. My fourth Leonardo in Pietra Marina showed up with a fine nib. That pen was filled with Australian Syrah. Yes. A pattern to my rabbit-hole madness.

From bottom left to right: Pietra Marina, Dark Horn, Blue Hawaii Matte Black with Ruthenium trim, and Blue Hawaii with Rhodium trim.

Overall, the nibs are smooth. The extra fine nibs are smooth with some feedback. It’s an enjoyable extra fine writing experience. More so than a few of my other extra fine nib pens (like my TWSBIs). The fine nib is also smooth, but with a hint of feedback. A pleasurable writing experience. Of course my juicy stub 1.5 is just smooth and a wet writer.

There’s a little screw cap at the end of the body that can twist completely off. This gives you access to the top of the converter. This is an alternative way to fill the pen/converter with ink instead of unscrewing the whole body to get to the converter. Just remember to put the screw cap back on as you don’t want to lose it.

The extra fine nibs are lovely to write with and show off the ink’s characteristics beautifully.

The Momento Zero is a fairly light pen. The shape is beautiful and the pens are well made. They have a nice resin section and I hardly notice the threads. The pen is comfortable and well balanced in my hand whether I post the pen or not.

It feels like a girthy pen, but it really isn’t especially when you compare it to it’s relative, the Grande version.

Mostly matching my inks with my pens. I tried to avoid using one single ink manufacturer. Also thinking of using these pens for some Holiday sketching.

I think we need one more picture of my pens close up.

Unique pens with a wonderful writing experience. Easily one of my EDCs.

I will do a few more writing samples and post more pictures here in the next day or so. Stay tuned!

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!

Check This Out!

I have to admit, I enjoy matching my fountain pen inks with my fountain pens. It comes natural to me. Okay, it helps that I have a lot of inks to choose from.

You can imagine what went through my mind when I purchased a pack of hair clips. One of the clips caught my eye. I just knew the perfects pens to go with it.

My hair clip and matching pens

It didn’t take long for the lightbulb to go off in my head. I gathered my pens and took a quick picture.

Still. It would be cool to find a matching resin fountain pen. Hmmmmm….

Happy Friday!

Silent Nite from Robert Oster

I received a new Robert Oster ink last week. It’s a pretty blue gray ink from his 2020 Holiday Ink Collection. I created a swatch card and was on the fence with this color. Some other new ink colors arrived from other brands and happened to be light colored inks. I think that swayed my decision to immediately match this ink with one of my pens. So the bottle and swatch card sat on my desk. Waiting for me to do something.

The other light colored inks I received are made by Ink Institute. I will probably set those inks aside until Spring. That’s how light the colors are. Those swatch cards are still sitting on my desk.

I was going through my pen cases and came across my favorite Visconti Mirage in Horn color. A light bulb immediately went off in my head. I grabbed my bottle of Silent Nite and filled my pen.

My quick sketch and writing sample of this gorgeous ink color.

The minute I wrote an entry in my ink log journal, I fell in love with this gorgeous Silent Nite color. This ink is a blue gray color with some lovely shading. You can see the subtle shading even with my Fine nib writing sample above.

This is a slightly dry ink and dries quickly. You can see from my sketch there is hardly any blue gray wash after I swiped my artwork with a water brush.

It looks like a muted gray color, but I love that I can read my handwriting. Some muted colors are hard to see on white paper. Not this one.