Pen Love, Paper Passion


I’ve recently become a huge fan of TWSBI pens.  Over the last 6 months I’ve purchased three:

  • The Diamond 580 Silverwp-1470708849430.jpg
  • The Diamond Mini Classicwp-1470709011275.jpg
  • The Vac Miniwp-1470709023930.jpg

The Diamond Mini and the Diamond 580 are piston fillers, which I really love.  They hold so much ink!  The Vac Mini is a vacuum filler.  I really wanted to love it, too, but I don’t.  It holds as much ink as the other two pens but, while I LOVE the fine nib, I don’t like how much condensation there is in the end of the pen and I don’t like that I have to twist it open every time I want to write.  That, unfortunately, is one of the features of a vacuum pen!  I guess that means that it just isn’t for me.

I’ve been trying to figure out the advantage of a vacuum filler over a piston filler, and the only one I can really come up with is that a vacuum filler can withstand changes in pressure without leaking better than a piston filler.  That is important for people who fly a great deal, but not really a concern for me (more’s the pity).  I’m glad I tried the vac mini, but my go-to is shaking out to be the mini classic.

wp-1470761258580.jpgMy other recent purchase is a Midori Traveler’s Notebook (passport size), and I L-O-V-E it!  It’s so cute, and so stashable, and yet so usable!  It comes with a little cotton bag that protects the leather from wear.  Mine also came with an unlined Midori refill notebook.  I purchased two additional grid notebooks and a pocket insert.  It’s really easy to swap out  refills.

Midori notebook paper is really nice to write on if you’re a fountain pen user–it’s smooth and doesn’t bleed through.  Up until now I’ve been a Molskine fan, but I’m definitely converting to Midori!

UPDATE (2016-11-21):  I continued to have issues with the mini-vac — the most serious of which was that, no matter how loosely I tightened the end, it would always be so tight that I couldn’t unscrew it when I wanted to write.  I was getting pretty frustrated with it and then the end of the cap snapped off without warning!  I’m not sure what to do with it now.  I cleaned it and put it on a shelf to think about later.  I wonder if I just got a 🍋?

Old Man Winter


I have lately been salivating over the gorgeous color range available from Pilot and Levenger.  I don’t like to write with plain blue or black –so boring! On the other hand, I don’t want everything I write to look like the i’s should be dotted with hearts and smiley faces.  It’s a delicate balance.  I love green ink, but it always seems too dry.  I’ve written with Waterman Brown for years, but in the last couple of months I’ve had my eyes peeled for a nice grey.  I don’t want it to be too light, but it shouldn’t be too dark, either.

I ordered a bottle of Levenger Greystoke–partly because of the color, but partly because of the name.  Is this the color you’d write with if you were shipwrecked off the coast of Africa?
In the end I loved the way the ink performed in my pen — it’s nice and wet and is very smooth.  It’s too dark, though.  Almost black.

Next I ordered a bottle of the iroshizuku fuyu-syogun by Pilot.  The only other color of that brand I had tried was a yellow-green bamboo color.  It’s nice ink, but the color was too light and too yellow.  Would the grey be the same?

In the end, the color was perfect.  Decidedly grey, but dark enough to be professional.  It feeds well in my pen and makes me very happy.

Now I’m looking for my next must-have color.  Will it ever end?!

Pen Love

I love pens, and paper, and all the paraphernalia that goes with them.  I’m particularly enamoured of fountain pens, and I’ve had quite a few in my time.

Lately I’ve become interested piston fill pens.  I’ve purchased two that are considered good mid-price pens.  The TWSBI Diamond 580 with a fine nib and the Lamy 2000, also with a fine nib. My picture below is a little confusing. The Lamy is the black pen and the TWSBI is the demonstrator.


I really love the TWSBI, but the Lamy 2000 skips a bit and doesn’t feed very well.

I have a large collection of bottled ink, but I’ve been enjoying the Pilot Nimiki Iroshizuku and Levenger brands.

I plan to write more here about my pen love in future. Stay tuned.

Phone Cozy

I’ve had a beautiful Bernina Sewing Computer, purchased for me by my parents, for many years now, but I’ve barely used it because–quite frankly– it scares me.  It’s smarter than I am, and intimidates me with its superiority in all things sewing.

I really want to be crafty and I think that I have a tiny amount of natural (obviously inherited) talent, but I’m impatient, easily frustrated, and have an unfortunate habit of cutting corners when it comes to technique and being a tiny bit slipshod.  I’ve tried crochet (too hard), knitting (ok, but I can’t seem to get past garter stitch), quilting (too fiddly), tie-die (too messy), weaving and spinning (oy vey, don’t  get me started on how hard), and cross-stitch (too many moving parts).  Lately I’ve come to the conclusion that embroidery is my craft.  Unlike the others mentioned, I find it soothing and fun.  I can take my little bag on the train and work on my projects during my commute.  Most importantly, I enjoy it–something that cannot be said for any of the above.  The trouble is that I’m finding that, when my projects are done, I still need to do something  with them!  That is going to require that I make peace with the Bernina and let it teach me what it knows.  To that end, I’ve been sewing up tiny projects that function as practice homework.  Mostly I’ve been sewing straight lines.   Today (at 9am–1.5 hours before I needed to go to work–please see the character flaws listed above) I decided to design and sew a case for my phone, Goldilocks. Yes, I name all my devices.  So?!  Anyway… the final product came out better than could be expected, but not exactly as I’d envisioned.  What do you think?


The little strap is too wide and doesn’t actually close on the button, so I’ll probably have to rethink that.  You should know that I hand sewed the strap to the bag while standing in the middle of the kitchen with a thread-obsessed cat climbing my leg.  I don’t think it’s too bad– all things considered.

I have many more dates scheduled with Bernina-Elizabeth  (what?!), and I’ll keep you up to date on my progress.  I hope to pump out a few Xmas presents this year.  We’ll see…

More Embroidery…

My husband’s birthday is coming up.  He’s rather difficult to shop for because he is basically the anti-magpie!  Sparklies do NOT attract him.  Where window shopping for hours is my heaven, it’s his hell.  Luckily, he finds it amusing that I have to pop into every gift shop and curio store we encounter in our travels.

Aaaanyway… I finally ended up embroidering a little dice bag for him.


The King Rat has special meaning for him, so I hope he likes it.  I think it turned out pretty well, if I do say so myself!

Down the Rabbit Hole…


So I went looking for a pattern for a phone case today, and I ended up resurrecting the Pinterest account that I created ages ago and then abandoned immediately.  At the time I found it boring and pointless, but things seem to have changed because I just spent several hours honing my “boards” and finding people to follow and “pin”.  In the past I’ve snobbishly regarded Pinterest as social media for old ladies.  What does that say about me?!

I see that it’s 12:12 am, so I guess I’d better go to bed and ponder my life choices.