Greenery: 2017 Pantone Color of the Year Gift Guide

Greenery - Pantone Color of the Year 2017

Greenery – Pantone Color of the Year 2017

Pantone recently announced that the color of the year for 2017 is a shade called Greenery. Their website calls the Greenery “nature’s neutral” and provides this description of the color:

A refreshing and revitalizing shade, Greenery is symbolic of new beginnings.

Greenery is a fresh and zesty yellow-green shade that evokes the first days of spring when nature’s greens revive, restore and renew. Illustrative of flourishing foliage and the lushness of the great outdoors, the fortifying attributes of Greenery signals consumers to take a deep breath, oxygenate and reinvigorate.

I’m crazy about anything in the color yellow-green! We’ve put together a gift guide to help you shop for pens, ink and journals that are similar to this shade of green.

Greenery Themed Stationery

Greenery Themed Stationery

LAMY Safari Fountain Pen

The first fountain pen that came to my mind when I saw Greenery was this LAMY Safari fountain pen in green. If you haven’t already collected a Safari in this color this is a good year to do it! We replaced the regular nib on the pen in this photo with a calligraphy nib.

Pilot Prera Demonstrator Fountain Pen

The Pilot Prera Demonstrator Fountain Pen in Light Green has a clear body with a pop of green on the end of the barrel and cap. The nibs on Prera fountain pens are great if you have small handwriting or like to write with a very fine pen.

Pelikan M205 Duo Highlighter Fountain Pen

This Pelikan M205 Duo Highlighter Fountain Pen in Shiny Green is a special edition, so if this pen strikes your fancy don’t wait too long to add this to your desk. It comes equipped with a Broad BB nib and since it’s a fountain pen it can be refilled over and over again with highlighter ink. Our choice of ink? Why, of course matching Pelikan M205 Duo Highlighter Ink, also in Shiny Green.

Pilot Iroshizuku Fountain Pen Ink in Bamboo Forest Green (Chiku-Rin)

Chiku-Rin or Bamboo Forest fountain pen ink is a yellow green shade similar to the color of new growth on plants in the spring, which also happens to be the same color in nature that inspired the shade Greenery. Truly a beautiful and refreshing color!

J. Herbin Vert Pre Fountain Pen Ink

J. Herbin’s Vert Pre is another one of our favorite yellow-green fountain pen inks. The top of the glass bottle has a handy built-in place to rest your pen.  J. Herbin uses all natural dyes in their inks, which makes them non-toxic and pH neutral.

Rhodiarama Pad Holder - Anise Green

Rhodiarama Pad Holder – Anise Green

Rhodiarama Pad Holder No. 12 with Notepad – Anise Green

Carry your favorite Rhodia paper in this pocket-size refillable Rhodia notepad holder. It has a pen holder and pocket to stash receipts and business cards.

Rhodiarama Soft Cover Notebook - Anise Green Cover

Rhodiarama Soft Cover Notebook – Anise Green Cover

Rhodiarama Soft Cover Notebook with an Anise Green Cover

Your fountain pen will write like a dream on the high quality paper inside Rhodiarama soft cover notebooks. Your choice of lined or dot grid paper – just what those of you who are crazy about bullet journals have been waiting for!

Pentel Tradio Mechanical Pencil – Apple Green

The cap of the Apple Green Pentel Tradio mechanical pencil protects the tip from damage and breakage. It’s got a button on the side near the grip that you can click to advance the lead for uninterrupted writing.

Other ideas for a Greenery themed desk top include: the Quo Vadis Habana Journal in Anise Green, Quo Vadis Planner with a Bamboo Green Texas Cover, a Platinum Preppy Green Highlighter with Green Highlighting Ink, and the Staedtler Textsurfer Classic Green Highlighter. Several Clairefontaine notepads are available with yellow-green covers: you can request a yellow-green cover during order check out and if we’ve got that color in stock we will send it to you.

What yellow-green stationery items do you have on your desk?

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10 Fountain Pens to Buy For Your Boyfriend

Fountain pens make great gifts! They are sophisticated and retro, reduce writing fatigue, can be refilled over and over again and when taken care of can become a family heirloom. So what fountain pen will you buy for the man in your life? In general, when considering what nib size to buy for someone who has never used a fountain pen, If he has small handwriting buy a fine nib, medium or large handwriting buy a medium nib. If he already collects fountain pens it’s up to you to find out what kind of nib size he wants next. Here are 10 of our favorite fountain pens (in no particular order) that would make great gifts:

1. Kaweco AL Sport Fountain Pen. The smart design of the Kaweco Sport allows the pen to be a compact pocket-size when capped and when uncapped it posts at the perfect length for writing. The AL Sport is made of metal so it is as durable and rugged as your man needs it to be.

Pilot Vanishing Point Fountain Pen - Gun Metal Gray, Black Matte Accents

Pilot Vanishing Point Fountain Pen – Gun Metal Gray, Black Matte Accents

2. Pilot Vanishing Point Fountain Pen, Gun Metal Gray with Black Matte Accents. The Pilot Vanishing Point capless retractable fountain pen is well-known for its clever design that allows you to extend or retract the nib with just one click. When clipped to a shirt pocket the nib points up to reduce the chance of any leaks. Available in several colors and nib sizes.

LAMY Dialog Palladium Fountain Pen

LAMY Dialog Palladium Fountain Pen

3. LAMY Dialog 3 Fountain Pen has a revolutionary twist mechanism that allows the nib to advance and retract smoothly into the barrel. When the nib is advanced the clip recesses slightly into the body, creating an ergonomic writing experience. Once retracted a protective ball valve closes over the nib and the clip can be lifted and secured to a bag or pocket. Its modern Bauhaus appearance and intelligent design would make this the perfect pen for an engineer. Nibs tend to run one size large on this pen, so choose one nib size down. It’s also available in matte black.

4. Delta Vintage Stylus Fountain Pen – Lava Stone. For your techie guy who likes to use a stylus with his tablet or smart phone; one end of this fountain pen has a premium capacitive rubber stylus specifically designed for modern touch screen devices, the other end has a traditional platinum-masked fountain pen nib.

5. Pelikan Souveran M800 Fountain Pen in Black. For the traditionalist, the elegant, classic Pelikan M800 fountain pen is produced by one of the most renowned pen manufacturers in the world. This large pen has a piston filling system and a masterfully handcrafted two-tone 18k gold nib.

6. Platinum 3776 Series Music Nib Fountain Pen – Koi. Perfect for an artist or calligrapher, this beautiful red celluloid “Koi” fountain pen is reminiscent of the glistening multi-color scales of a koi fish and is popular with those who pursue unusual antique designs. The most extraordinary feature of Platinum’s 14K gold music nib is that is has two slits, making it a three tined nib which allows for a good ink flow. “Smooth as silk” is how the writing experience with this nib has been described. Also available in black/rhodium or black/gold.

Stipula Tuscany Dreams Peposo Fountain Pen - Brown Tortoiseshell

Stipula Tuscany Dreams Peposo Fountain Pen – Brown Tortoiseshell

7. Stipula Tuscany Dreams Peposo Fountain Pen.  This is a very large “man-size” ornate Italian-made fountain pen. According to Stipula, this eye-catching pen is “adorned with a magnificent bronze clip in which there are two masterpieces of Florence: the dome of Florence’s Cathedral and Michelangelo’s David. The band on the cap in the foreground depicts the coat of arms of the Medici. Adorning the rest of the ring the portraits of three genes born in Tuscany: Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo Buonarroti and Dante Alighieri.”

Pilot Metropolitan Fountain Pen - Dots, Medium Nib

Pilot Metropolitan Fountain Pen – Dots, Medium Nib

8. Pilot Metropolitan Fountain Pen. The Metropolitan provides everything you need for an economical price – it even includes a gift box and an ink converter for bottled ink. It’s a durable daily writer that you’re not afraid to take to work.

Platinum Plaisir Fountain Pen - Gunmetal

Platinum Plaisir Fountain Pen – Gunmetal

9. Platinum Plaisir Fountain Pen. The Plaisir is the perfect fountain pen for a no-fuss low- maintenance kind of guy since it has a specially designed cap that allows it to write smoothly even after it hasn’t been used for up to a year. This makes it suitable both for writing every day or for only occasional use. The cap also reduces ink loss due to evaporation. The durable anodized aluminum body has a beautiful pearlized finish.

LAMY AL-Star Fountain Pen - Black

LAMY AL-Star Fountain Pen – Black

10. LAMY AL-Star Fountain Pen – Black. If Darth Vader used fountain pens, this stealthy all-black Al-Star might just be the one he would use. Are any of your boyfriends going to see the new Star Wars movie next month? I thought so.

What fountain pens would you recommend as gift for your boyfriend?

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14 Inks To Match Your Blue-Green LAMY AL-Star Fountain Pen

LAMY Al-Star Blue-Green & Matching Fountain Pen Inks

LAMY Al-Star Blue-Green & Matching Fountain Pen Inks

Looking for a blue-green shade of fountain pen ink to match your brand new Blue-Green LAMY AL-Star? We’ve got 14 suggestions for you! These colors range from bright to muted and from light to dark. Some shades of ink are more blue and other shades are more green. We chose a variety of inks to accommodate the variety of tastes fountain pen users might have. Of course, a photo on the internet isn’t going to give you an exact representation of the actual color. It’s helpful to look at the colors side by side to give you an idea of how they compare. Our list shown in the photo includes:

Left column, top to bottom:

Right column, top to bottom:

If you’re not the matchy-matchy type and want a contrasting color of ink that looks great with the Blue-Green LAMY AL-Star our first choice would be blue-black or navy blue, especially Noodler’s Air-Corp Blue-Black fountain pen ink. Black, gray and even dark brown inks are a good match too. What color of fountain pen ink do you like to use with your Blue-Green AL-Star?

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Ten Fountain Pens to Buy For Your Girlfriend

Alright guys, let’s face it. Sometimes you are clueless as to what kind of gifts to buy for your girlfriend. Suppose you are passionate about writing with a fountain pen and you would like to introduce your girlfriend, wife or daughter to what the fuss is all about. Perhaps your girl is an artist, writer or a business professional and a fountain pen seems like a natural gift. Guys are often attracted to technical pens that are heavy, large and masculine in color and appearance. Women tend to like pens that are slender and lighter in weight with an attractive, stylish appearance. You may be thinking you need to buy a diamond-encrusted limited edition fountain pen (and by all means do it if you can afford it!), but a more modest investment is a good approach if you’re not sure if she’ll share your love of writing with a fountain pen. Take a look at our suggestions and maybe you’ll find something on this list that will appeal to your special friend. We’re listing these by price – from the least expensive to the most expensive.

1) Pilot Metropolitan Animal Fountain Pen

The Pilot Metropolitan’s medium nib is smooth, easy to write with and the pen comes complete with a gift box, ink cartridge and ink converter for use when you buy her a bottle of ink to go with it. A fabulous deal for the price! We particularly like the pearly White Tiger or Violet Leopard, but if animal prints aren’t your girlfriend’s style there are also other color options.

2) Platinum Plaisir Fountain Pen

The Platinum Plaisir is low maintenance thanks to a special inner cap that keeps the ink from drying out in the nib. Its pearlized finish comes in a flashy bright lipstick Red as well as more demure Frosty Blue, Pink or Violet colors. For this pen, we favor the fine nib for someone new to fountain pens.

3) Set of Colorful Platinum Preppy Fountain Pens with a Pen Pouch

Women love color and many love to write with colorful ink! How fun it would be to receive a set of 7 colorful Preppy Fountain Pens each with their own matching ink color. To complete this gift it is a must to buy a pen pouch to store them all in. There are tons of pen pouches to choose from such as the PlePle Wrap Pen Case which happens to fit seven Preppy Pens perfectly!

LAMY AL-Star Fountain Pen Purple

LAMY AL-Star Fountain Pen Purple

4) LAMY Safari or AL-Star Fountain Pen

LAMY Safari & LAMY AL-Star fountain pens have the same basic design, but are made from different materials. The Safari comes in solid colors and is made of sturdy ABS plastic, and the AL-Star has a light-weight aluminum body with a matte metallic finish. Our favorite picks are the Purple AL-Star and the limited edition Pink LAMY Safari. Both are available in a variety of colors and a variety of nib sizes and are hugely popular with writers of all sorts. Writing with a LAMY is a fabulous way to be introduced to the world of fountain pens! It was what got me hooked 🙂

Platinum Cool Fountain Pen Crystal Rose

Platinum Cool Fountain Pen Crystal Rose

5) Platinum Cool Fountain Pen

The Platinum Cool Fountain Pen is a demonstrator pen, which means it has a clear body that allows you to see the inside of the pen and gives it a more “delicate” appearance. The clear Crystal Rose pink is very feminine, and if pink is not her thing then we suggest the clear Crystal Blue which is a serene sky blue color. The Platinum Cool Pens are packaged in a clear gift box and include an ink converter for using bottled ink.

6) Pilot Prera Demonstrator

This Pilot Prera fountain pen is a clear demonstrator pen with a pop of color on the end of the cap and the end of the body. If your girlfriend likes to write with colorful ink the clear body of the pen is a nice feature since it allows you to see the colorful ink inside the pen. When it is capped, the pen is very compact so it fits easily into a pocket or purse. Conveniently this pen comes with an ink converter so you can use bottled ink and is available with a variety of accent colors such as Light Green, Light Blue, Pink and more. The fine nib is a good choice for writers with small handwriting.

7) Aurora Style Fountain Pen

Aurora Style fountain pens have a sleek, modern appearance, perfect for writers that don’t like a lot of fussy frilly details. The Style Gemstone collection includes a beautiful pale Aquamarine Blue and a pale Amethyst Purple. For those drawn towards bright colors I really like the golden-yellow Mustard and the burgundy-red Paprika Style pens. There are also other more conservative color options like a soft White.

Pelikan Classic Special Edition M205 Fountain Pen - Aquamarine

Pelikan Classic Special Edition M205 Fountain Pen – Aquamarine

8) Pelikan Classic M205 or M200 Fountain Pen

The Pelikan Classic M205 or M200 Fountain Pen seems to be made for a woman’s hand. It is one of Pelikan’s smaller fountain pens so it is just the right size. It has a piston filling system which means it is meant to be used with bottled ink.

9) Delta Vintage Fountain Pen

The Delta Vintage Fountain Pen is hand-made from a mother of pearl acrylic resin that beautifully catches the light. This modern Italian-made pen comes in a gift box with an ink cartridge. The marbled Ruby Red or White pens are gorgeous!

Pilot Custom 74 Fountain Pen Violet

Pilot Custom 74 Fountain Pen Violet

10) Pilot Custom 74 Fountain Pen

Besides the fact that the Pilot Custom 74 is an awesome fountain pen to write with, we particularly love the inspiring color of the clear Violet Custom 74 pen. I really want to use this violet pen along with Pilot Iroshizuku Beautyberry ink! This is the only pen on our list with a 14K nib, so naturally this pen is a bit more of an investment, but it is not over-the-top expensive. It comes with all the goodies you need – a gift box, ink cartridge and an ink converter – and it is available in several other colors such as a cheerful orange or a sapphire blue.

Remember guys, usually only one ink cartridge is included with a new fountain pen (if it has a cartridge/converter filling system), so be sure to get an extra pack of ink cartridges or a bottle of ink and an ink converter (if necessary) when you buy your gift. If she loves writing with her new fountain pen she’ll be sure to appreciate the extra thoughtfulness on your part.

Now that we’ve got 10 fountain pens on our list we feel that the list could be expanded by many, many more. All of you women writers out there, what fountain pen do you wish your man would buy for you?

 

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Top 10 Fountain Pen Inks

There is a fountain pen ink for every color of the rainbow and each of them has its own special characteristics. Fountain pen ink comes in cartridges or bottles that encompass designs from utilitarian to a piece of art that begs to be displayed. A writer could spend a lifetime experimenting and writing with the plethora of inks currently available. So how did these fountain pen inks make our top ten list? Some of them are best sellers, some are staff favorites and others have their own qualities that make them special. We have chosen to list the inks by price, from most expensive to least expensive (this is not to say that whatever is the most expensive is the best). Certainly, our top ten list will be different than yours, so please share with us your favorite inks!

Pilot Iroshizuku Bottled Fountain Pen Inks

Pilot Iroshizuku Bottled Fountain Pen Inks

1. Pilot Iroshizuku Fountain Pen Ink – Most Beautiful Bottle

Pilot Iroshizuku ink comes in a glamorous modern and sophisticated oval-shaped bottle. This heavy glass bottle even has an indentation on the bottom of the interior to help you use the ink down to the last few drops. Add to this the wide range of colors that express the beauty of nature in Japan and you’ve got a stylish winner! On our list, the runner up in this category would definitely be Pelikan’s Edelstein ink.

2. Platinum Carbon Black Ink

Platinum Carbon Black ink is a favorite of artists that create art with a fountain pen. It is pigment based rather then dye based which makes it very water-resistant, fade-resistant and heat-resistant after it dries. It is often used for drawing along with a watercolor wash.

Pelikan M205 Duo Yellow Highlighter Ink

Pelikan M205 Duo Yellow Highlighter Ink

3. Pelikan M205 Duo Yellow Highlighting Ink

If you’re tired of tossing away dried-up plastic highlighter pen carcasses you can refill them instead using Pelikan M205 Duo fluorescent highlighter ink. You can also use this ink with the classic Pelikan M205 Highlighter Fountain Pen or create your own long-lasting refillable highlighter using a fountain pen + highlighter pen! Check out the D.I.Y. instructions:
Pen Mods: How to make a long-lasting refillable highlighter pen
D.I.Y. Highlighter Recharging

OMAS Sepia Bottled Fountain Pen Ink

OMAS Sepia Bottled Fountain Pen Ink

4. Omas Sepia Fountain Pen Ink

Omas Sepia fountain pen ink has a modern formula but a vintage, old timey-wimey appearance and it looks fabulous on cream colored paper! The interesting bottle design allows you to tip the bottle on its side while filling your pen with ink which helps a lot when the bottle’s ink level is starting to run low.

5. Aurora Black Fountain Pen Ink

Aurora Black ink is our top choice for a friendly, easy to use ink that is a deep, dark, intense black color. It comes in both Ink cartridges suitable for Aurora fountain pens or in bottles so that you can use it with just about any fountain pen.

6. Noodler’s Bulletproof Black Ink

Noodler’s Bulletproof Black ink is a great daily workhorse that is suitable for a wide variety of situations. It has “bulletproof” qualities which means its resists the effects of water, bleach and light. This made in the USA bottled ink is more economical and environmentally friendly than ink in cartridges which many writers appreciate.

7. Noodler’s Aircorp Blue-Black

Noodler’s Aircorp Blue-Black is Alex’s favorite ink to use daily in any sort of pen including rollerball pens that use fountain pen ink and even in pens where the ink flow tends to be a bit on the dry side. Instead of being a regular black or standard blue color it is an interesting shade of blue-black.

J. Herbin Bottled Fountain Pen Ink

J. Herbin Bottled Fountain Pen Ink

8. J. Herbin is the Lefty’s Favorite Ink

Being a left-handed fountain pen writer presents its own set of challenges. Ink must dry quickly or be smeared all over the page! I’ve successfully used a wide variety of ink without smearing by pairing it with the right paper and a fine or medium nib. I must say though that J. Herbin La Perle des Encres is the ink I always go back to. Love the variety of colors, I can use most of them without smearing and the bottle has a nifty pen-rest.

9. J. Herbin Vert Reseda

J. Herbin Vert Reseda turquoise ink is Alan’s all-time favorite ink color! He loves this color of French green.

10. LAMY Black Fountain Pen Ink

LAMY T52 Black fountain pen ink is a best seller for many reasons: it is easy to use in any pen, it is low maintenance and good for beginners, the price is economical and black is the the most commonly used color of fountain pen ink. It comes in a cool bottle that includes a handy small roll of blotter tape and it is also available in cartridges for LAMY fountain pens.

We’ve shared our list – now tell us what your top 10 fountain pen inks are!

Pelikan Edelstein Fountain Pen Ink

Pelikan Edelstein Fountain Pen Ink

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Writer’s Bloc Top 10 Fountain Pens

What are the top ten fountain pens? Anyone that writes with a fountain pen could likely come up with a unique list of their own ten favorite pens. Our list of the top ten fountain pens was created by considering several different factors including our own employee favorites. These fountain pens, as well as others that we choose to make available in our shop, are all carefully selected based on their individual strengths. We decided to number the pens in our top 10 list based on their current price – from the most expensive to the least expensive. See if any of your favorites are listed here:

1) Aurora Optima Demonstrator Fountain Pen – Alan says that writing with this pen is like driving a high performance European sports car. The quality and materials are beautiful and it is a joy write with. He especially loves the character of the nib which he describes as solid and somewhat toothy allowing him feel the “road conditions” as he writes.  Alan also loves fountain pens with a clear body so that you can see all of the parts and inner workings of the pen. The hidden ink reservoir feature has bailed him out near the end of meetings when he is running out of ink.

2) Pilot Custom 74 Fountain Pen – This is another favorite of Alan’s. He is a fan of extra fine nibs and loves the performance of this Japanese fine nib. He likes pens that are not too heavy and for him it has the right balance in his hand and is the perfect writing weight. His favorite Custom 74 colors include Clear and Orange and he says Smoke is a good choice if you like a less clear and more solid looking pen.

3) LAMY 2000 Fountain Pen – Alex says one reason to love the LAMY 2000 is its sleek modern Bauhaus design with its hooded nib and interesting Makrolon body and cap. Superficial reasons aside, this is a great pen to write with!

4) Namiki Falcon Fountain Pen – The Namiki Falcon is outstanding for the reason that it comes equipped with a modern 14K semi-flex nib that gives a soft, flexible feel to your writing experience. It allows for variation of stroke width while you write or draw and really shines when it is paired with ink that has good shading. Alan says that with his Falcon the ink flow is absolutely superb!

5) Pelikan M200/M205 Classic Fountain Pen – This Pelikan fountain pen has a legendary piston filling system and at its price point it is a great first step into the world of piston fill fountain pens. It is consistently a best seller and Pelikan has been in the business of creating high quality fountain pens for many years. This particular pen has a steel nib, but you can upgrade to the Pelikan M400/M405 if you prefer a gold nib. Pelikan offers special limited edition colors of the M200/M205 such as this sophisticated taupe color!

6) Stipula Bon Voyage Fountain Pen – The Bon Voyage fountain pen was specifically created to be eyedropper fill and even comes with an eyedropper for easy filling. When capped it is a compact pocket size and if you happen to be nervous about carrying an eyedropper pen in your pocket you also have the option of using short standard universal ink cartridges. It can easily be converted to a rollerball pen by removing the fountain pen feed (just unscrew it from the barrel) and replacing it with a rollerball feed. This Stipula has some pretty cool features that you can’t find on just any fountain pen!

7) LAMY Safari Fountain Pen – If fountain pens were to have a popularity contest it is pretty likely that this guy would win. I would venture to say that a plethora of writers that regularly use fountain pens have at least one LAMY Safari in their pen case. It’s a favorite everyday writer and its price makes it accessible to students and professionals alike.

8) Platinum Plaisir Fountain Pen – This is Cher’s favorite everyday “purse” fountain pen. She loves the special cap that prevents ink from drying out in the nib. The durable anodized aluminum body has a pearlized finish that comes in several fun colors such as sports car red and pale violet. As a left-handed writer she also appreciates that the grip is suitable for lefties and that the fine nib is the ideal size for her – the fine line of ink dries quickly and i
t is not too “pokey or scratchy” for her strange lefty writing position.

9) Pilot Metropolitan Fountain Pen – Great pen, great price. Need we say more? Makes a thoughtful inexpensive gift: it’s less than $20.00, the nib size is easy to write with even for beginners, it’s made from durable materials and it comes with a stylish Pilot gift box.

10) Platinum Preppy Fountain Pen – The lovable Preppy fountain pen is so inexpensive it is an easy introduction into the world of fountain pens. For a disposable fountain pen it offers amazing quality! It comes in seven colors and Platinum designed it so that it can be refilled or even converted to eyedropper fill.

That’s our top 10 list! What’s yours? What fountain pens would you put on your top 10 list? We’d love to hear about your favorites!

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From This Day Forward: Wedding Guest Book

From This Day Forward: Wedding Guest Book is part of Compendium’s Live Inspired collection which is meant to inspire, motivate and celebrate the world we love and live in. The inspirational quotations contained in this wedding guest book are sure be part of what will make this book a cherished memory of a couple’s special day.

Instead of just being a registry book for wedding guest names and addresses, the layout of the From This Day Forward wedding guest book is meant to inspire guests to share meaningful advice on how to have a happy life together. As friends and family write on the lined white pages in this book they will read an inspirational quotation on the facing page. The inspirational pages are a understated light-taupe color and are adorned with elegant white botanical and floral designs.

Some of my favorite quotes from this book are “It’s not where you go or what you do in life, it’s who you have beside you” – unknown, and “I love you not only for what you are, but for what I am when I am with you” – Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

From This Day Forward is hard bound and is covered in a neutral light-taupe cloth with white and dark brown foil stamping. There is a matching ribbon book marker to assist in finding the right page. There are 80 pages – half are lined for guests to write on and the other half have quotations. Each wide-ruled page has 14 lines.

My favorite fountain pen to match this guest book would have to be the taupe colored Pelikan Classic M205.

My first choice for ink would be a dark taupe brown color of ink such as J. Herbin’s Cacao du Bresil.

If you would rather use a gel pen, then I would recommend the classy silver tone Pentel EnerGel Alloy RT Gel Pen that comes with a black ink cartridge. Your left-handed guests will not smear the EnerGel ink!

Are you planning on getting married this year? Congratulations and best wishes from all of us here at Writer’s Bloc!

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When is a standard ink converter not a standard ink converter?

(Pelikan standard universal ink converter)

Not too long ago as we were trying to use an ink converter in a new fountain pen we made an interesting discovery. Not all “standard” fountain pen ink converters are created equal. I’m not talking about the filling mechanism, quality, appearance, length or ink capacity, I’m talking about the part of the converter that attaches to the pen. One would assume that all “standard” converters would be able to attach correctly to all pens that take “standard” cartridges and converters, but this simply is not true.

(Monteverde standard international ink converter)

Take for example the standard ink converter made by Pelikan. It is a good price and has a slightly larger ink capacity than some other standard converters, but it does not attach correctly to all pens that take standard converters. I grabbed my collection of school fountain pens and did an experiment. I tried to attach both the Pelikan and the Monteverde standard ink converters to each one of them with varying success. Here are the results:

Type of Fountain Pen Pelikan Converter Monteverde Converter
Pelikan Script X
Borghini ?
Unknown X
Plumink
Pilot Vortex X
Maped
Waterman

✓ = fit correctly
X = did not fit
? = was not sure

Even though both of the “standard” ink converters, particularly the Pelikan, did not fit all pens equally, short standard universal ink cartridges worked in all of the pens.

(J. Herbin standard universal ink cartridges)

Our conclusion?  If you don’t want any surprises, if possible, buy an ink converter that is the same brand as the pen you plan to use it in. For the most foolproof results stick to short standard universal ink cartridges since they seem to be able to fit into all “standard” fountain pens.

Have you had any similar experiences with fountain pen ink converters?

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Trending Taupe

Taupe is a neutral color that is frequently used in the world of fashion, interior design, graphic design and elsewhere. According to Wikipedia the word “taupe” comes from the Latin name for the European mole and was originally used to describe the average color of the actual animal. Today, the word taupe is used to refer to varying shades ranging from grayish-brown, tan, rose taupe and more.  It is also the most popular color for leather sofas! The color taupe also appears in the world of notebooks, ink and fountain pens.

In 2012 Pelikan created a special edition M205 fountain pen in the color taupe that will only be available for a limited period of time. This sophisticated color subtly stands out of the crowd of traditional black fountain pens. It’s definitely on my want list!

For a matching ink color, I would fill my Pelikan M205 fountain pen with J. Herbin’s Cacao du Bresil fountain pen ink which I would call a dark brown taupe color. For a contrasting ink color, I would choose Tanzanite from Pelikan’s Edelstein Ink collection. This blue-black ink would be a nice complement to the classy taupe body of the fountain pen.

Leuchtturm 1917 created one of their thoughtfully designed lined journals with numbered pages with a taupe cover. The soft ivory color of the paper in this journal really makes a brown shade of ink pop on the page.

Even hipsters like the color taupe as evidenced in this funky retro design “Doing Good and Feeling Good” Write Now journal from Live Inspired.

If you prefer a journal with bright white paper, there are a limited number of taupe Quo Vadis Habana Journals available while they last. The Clairefontaine paper in the Habana journal works great with fountain pens.

To top it all off, I would paint my nails with Opi “Over the Taupe” nail polish. Yeah, that’s right, even my fingers would match my fountain pen, ink and journal.

Even my cat Rori has a taupe chin and taupe spots!

I’m afraid that once I buy the Pelikan M205 in taupe I will also need to get a matching Fiat 500 in my favorite color they call “punk grey”. Think of how good I will look driving this car!

Do you have any favorite products or designs in the classic color of Taupe?

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Do I need a left-handed nib on my fountain pen if I’m a left-handed writer?

I am a left-handed writer and the first time I used a fountain pen I had no idea left-handed fountain pen nibs even existed. It didn’t occur to me that there would be any problem using just a regular nib and I didn’t notice any problems. Years later, I’m back to using fountain pens regularly and have discovered that there are a few nibs out there specially designed for lefties. Many ask the question: Is it really necessary to have one of these special nibs if you are left-handed?

Left-handed fountain pen nibs are generally more rounded on the tip with the idea of producing a smoother writing experience. This particularly applies to languages such as English that are written from left to right. When left-handed people such as myself write, the pen is often angled in such a way that the pointiest part of the pen, the nib, is being pushed along paper made of fibers that are not impervious to tearing and which offer some resistance. It’s like taking a sharp nail or a pin and pushing it along a piece of paper at a 45 degree angle with the pointy end facing the direction it is being pushed. Likely you’re going to end up piercing that piece of paper with your pin! In contrast, try taking that same pin and pulling it along that same piece of paper with the pointy end facing away from the direction it is being pulled. It feels smoother as you pull it and it is much less likely that you will pierce the paper. That would be more like the experience of a right-handed writer. So as you can see, pen nibs of all kinds have a huge influence on whether or not a lefty has a good or a bad writing experience.

I personally find that a good writing experience for a lefty does not stop at the kind of nib on the pen. It is extremely important to me that whatever ink I’m using dries quickly or else I’ll smear it all over the place. The type of paper I use is also important since this affects the drying time of the ink. In addition, if paper is of very poor quality or tears easily, I may find myself poking holes in the paper with my pen or pencil. Each writer needs to experiment with different combinations of pen, ink and paper before discovering what works best for them.

I own many fountain pens with a variety of nibs, and three of them happen to have left-handed nibs. I personally find that the left-handed fountain pen nibs aren’t necessarily any better or any worse than using a regular fountain pen nib. I’m not sure if you will have the same experience. I must say though, that I can’t go wrong with my left-handed Pelikano Junior fountain pen. I don’t always want to write with such a broad nib, but I appreciate its smoothness when I use it.

(Pelikan Pelikano fountain pen with a left-handed nib compared to a Pelikano with a regular nib. Note the modified grip and the rounded nib on the left-handed pen.)

For the left-handed writer that is new to fountain pens, I would suggest starting out with a nib that is middle-of-the-road, perhaps something like a LAMY Safari with a left-handed, fine or medium nib. You might find extra-fine nibs to be too sharp and “pokey” at first, and broad nibs may lay down so much ink that you are smearing your writing too much. Another pen that I felt was easy to write with from the first time I picked it up is the Platinum Preppy with a fine nib, or for a nicer version of this pen with the same nib, the Platinum Plaisir fountain pen. If you get a chance to purchase a fountain pen with a left-handed nib, it is worth giving it a try. The Pelikan Pelikano and Pelikano Junior are both readily available with left-handed nibs. The Pelikan Pelikanos also have a grip that is modified to fit a left-handed writer. I’ve also heard of some lefties sending in their expensive nibs to be customized by a nibmeister, but I’ve never felt the need to do this myself.

Are you a left-handed writer? What kind of pen or fountain pen do you like to write with? Do you own any fountain pens with left-handed nibs?


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