Archive for the ‘My Desk’ Category

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Lessons From 2021 And Plans For 2022

12/30/2021

2021 was my year to reorganize and consolidate making the most of what was on hand. The result was a lean kit of basic tools that make writing a pleasure.

Honestly, it was pretty simple. Selling pens financed the purchase of four inexpensive Chinese models one of which has become my favorite daily writer. A contaminated bottle of a favorite ink was replaced. Paper purchases included identical replacements for completed journals along with paper for two A5 loose-leaf notebooks. Hardly adventurous, but it was satisfying to use familiar tools. All of this led to more writing and less fiddling. And that’s a good thing.

Writing more slowly improved my letter forms and my hand was less stressed during rare longer sessions. My softer touch created less drag so extra-fine nibs were less scratchy making them useful again.

Lessons from 2021 that will apply to 2022:

  • Sell pens that will never receive the love they deserve.
  • If a pen doesn’t thrill me but I am not ready to sell it, there is a drawer where pens-in-waiting can commiserate. In the future, it might be perfect for my needs.
  • Converter fillers with satisfying nibs are best for me. Keep no more than three to five filled at a time including pens for testing ink.
  • If an ink is terrific, keep using it! Iroshizuku syo-ro in a fine fude is #1 these days with eighteen refills in recent months. Platinum Classic Lavender Black is getting a lot of love, too.
  • Stick to my paper niche of Tomoe River 52gsm, a planner with MD paper, and only an occasional tryst with a new brand.
  • Write slowly with a soft touch and don’t worry about how my writing looks so long as it is legible.
  • Handwritten notes spark ideas for my websites so do it daily if only a sentence or two.

2022 plans include only one new addition, a watercolor journal. In the past, notes, swatches, sketches, palette ideas went in all kinds of places including unrelated notebooks, my personal journal, backs of envelopes, napkins. You name it and I wrote and painted on it. Time to change my ways most likely with a Stillman & Birn Beta or Zeta Sketchbook. Both have paper that will handle watercolor swatches and sketches as well as notes made with fountain pens and pencils. A single notebook is all I will need.

On a different subject, social media can be entertaining if sometimes brutal as I experienced when a narcissistic, delusional FB bully attacked me. Anyway, no one and no topic is worth being the target of that kind of abuse. The lesson here is to trust my instincts and ignore or block people sooner. I am worth it and so are you. On the plus side, this episode encouraged me to reevaluate and expand my plans in a way that I would not have done without the bully’s attack. Instead of doing less, I am doing more. Ironic, eh?

Now you know how my 2021 tool selection evolved as well as the year’s life lesson. The opposite may be better for you with lots of pens, constantly changing inks, a huge variety of notebooks and paper, and handwriting that does not need tweaking. You might even like interacting with a bully. Hey, whatever makes you happy!

Lastly, I learned that I have a namesake. Cute, eh?

Margana, the Camel

 

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Tweaking The Selection of Tools On My Desk

11/05/2021

Does your pen-ink-paper rotation make you happy, really happy? Mine was good but needed a little tweaking in recent weeks. Reviews are in progress for the pens and the paper listed.

  • Four Chinese pens, two fude, one fine and one extra-fine. The latter needed its nib swapped but is good now. The fine is on probation so we shall see about that one.
  • In recent months, either a pen for testing (recently a Waldmann) or a Platinum Century has occupied the last slot in my five pen rotation. Perhaps a stub will be next.
  • Inks are Iroshizuku syo-ro and kon-peki, Herbin Cafe des Iles, Diamine Merlot, Waterman Blue-Black, Sailor Tokiwa Matsu. Six but who’s counting?
  • Tomoe River 52g journal, an inexpensive A5 notebook paper that is very good with FP ink and a planner with MD  paper.
  • Uni Alpha Gel and a Tombow MONOgraph, both shaker mechanical pencils with 0.5mm HB Uni Nano Dia lead.
  • Uni-ball Signo 307 Micro (0.5) when a fountain pen won’t do. It writes on glossy paper and is water resistant. There is one on my desk, one in my handbag and one next to my bed.
  • Muji hard type black plastic eraser that doesn’t leave a pile of dust behind.
  • Other tools include washi tape, an Exacto knife, stylus, clips, candle, watercolor palette, brush, and paper.

It took a few modifications to refine my current choices. In the last six months, I have tried a few brands of paper that were supposed to be FP-friendly but were not good for double-sided writing. Iroshizuku was an infrequent visitor, but is now a staple. Chinese pens were off my list for years but now dominate my current rotation. In mechanical pencils, wide to very wide soft leads have been replaced by 0.5mm HB. A shaker mechanism taxes my hand far less than the traditional clicker so two of those have earned slots.

My desk is more organized with less clutter and instead of spending time deciding what to use, I simply use what is at hand. That means I spend more time working and that is a very good thing.

Links are to products at Amazon. If you purchase there, Inkophile may earn a tiny commission. The Chinese pens might be available through eBay, but the shipping time can be lengthy if from China. Recent orders from two different sellers took a month each to arrive in California.

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On My Desk – July 2021

07/31/2021

Five fountain pens were my tools of choice for July. It was a stub and fude month with a varied assortment of inks. Iroshizuku and Herbin contributed two each with a Diamine ink for the fifth. The Delike New Moon fude got the most love and a review should be finished in a couple of days.

Not pictured is the pink Tombow MONOgraph 0.5mm mechanical pencil with Uni Nano Dia HB lead. Its companion is a MUJI hard type, black plastic eraser.

In the category of non-writing tools are a Metro Stylus, a Silver Black Velvet 3/4″ flat brush, and a Princeton Neptune 1/2″ square wash brush. A cinnamon oatmeal cookie scented candle, an e.l.f. cooling under eye refresh rollerball plus four rolls of washi tape round things out. Oh, and lots of photos so I am never alone.

What’s on your desk?

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The Pens On My Desk

06/04/2021

Now that a few pens have moved out, what’s left on my desk? It’s a pretty varied lot with the exception of Platinum pens. Out of ten pens, three are Plats. All of the others are singles. Hint, hint. I am a fan of that brand, especially the #3776 model, but turns out I can only use one pen at a time.

Currently, five are inked and five are waiting for fills. The photo is of the pens that are inked including a Lamy Studio F, TWSBI 580 1.1 stub, Delike bent nib, Platinum #3776 Century Nice M, and Levenger True Writer Masuyama CI.

The five pens that have yet to be filled are a Platinum #3776 Century Nice Pur B, Platinum #3776 Music Nib, Pelikan M400 F, Conklin Duragraph 1.1 Stub, and Pilot Metropolitan M.

The Delike has a review in the works that should be completed in a few days. It quickly charmed its way into my rotation and has been a pleasure to use. All of the others have been mentioned in the past or received full reviews.

Are any of them your favorite pens, too?

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On My Desk: A Ton Of Ice

04/13/2021

Cracked ice that is. Fashioned out of celluloid or resin, these pens bring color to my workspace without shouting, “Look at me!” Subtle and varied but undemanding, all have wide nibs that add flair to my writing. The nib is usually the attraction for me, but sometimes a little color adds to the joy of writing and the beauty of cracked ice does that very well.

The True Writer is a custom cursive italic ground by Mike Masuyama. The Durograph is a stock stub. The Delike New Moon came from the manufacturer with an extra-fine nib bent into a fude and will get a review soon. 

Do you like the cracked ice models or do you prefer another variant on the colored fountain pen theme?

 

 

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On My Desk Today

03/27/2021
On My Desk

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On My Desk 05-15-2016

05/15/2016

The writing instruments on my desk needed a little exercise this morning.

Three inks are waiting for slots in my rotation: Pilot Blue-Black, Pelikan Violet and Diamine Vermillion. Pens to be determined. A turquoise or aqua ink will go in the Century Nice with its next fill. Diamine Marine has called dibs on a second Pilot Pocket Brush Pen though the Eco would show Marine to better advantage than the black barrel of the Pilot. It will all get sorted soon.

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