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Category Archives: Review

This review is long overdue.

Pelikan Pelikano Junior

Tom at Goldspot Pens generously sent me a marvelous right-handed Pelikan Pelikano Junior in blue. I adore blue and this pen sure is a eye-catching vibrant true blue.

There have been a number of reviews of this pen done already. (Take peak at some of the others: Office Supply Geek, The Shade’s Mind, Good Pens, Another Word For Nerd, Unposted) Due the abundance of reviews, I will keep this short and sweet.

The pen is marketed as a starter fountain pen for the young pen lovers in our lives. But honestly, we are all big kids at heart, right? The pen has grips that make using the pen a cinch. I find my hand slides into the correct position so writing is not only comfortable, but natural and effortless. The length and balance is appropriate for any aged writer. I have small hands and find it to be a joy to use.

The medium nib is smooth and writing is a joy. I have yet to experience any hesitation in ink flow or skipping while writing. It is a lovely consistent fountain pen. The pen is loaded with the ink cartridge that came with the pen. The blue ink is nice and bright. Unfortunately, I find that the medium nib lays down enough ink to be troublesome on some paper. 20 lb printer paper, which seems to be the standard around these parts, suffers from occasional feathering and notable bleed-through.

My journal is Markings brand. The cream colored paper doesn’t feather much but bleed-through might be a problem for some. I suppose the ink might be the cause of these issues rather than the nib or pen itself. Once I get this cartridge emptied, I will try some Private Reserve ink. If the bleed-through/feathering issue resolves itself, I will be sure to post.

I didn’t receive a box or any labels to adorn my pen like the other reviewers but I love it all the same. I adore bringing this pen out and having people take a second look at it. “Yeah, you know you want one…” This is definitely a keeper!

Many thanks to Goldspot Pens for making this review possible.

Take care and be well.

I was asked how my Rotring Core XS nib compared to another fountain pen’s nib. Unfortunately I don’t have the other fountain pen to offer a comparison.

I offered to do a comparison of a different sort and thought others may be interested in seeing the results.

My Rotring Core is armed with Private Reserve Supershow Blue ink and an extra fine (XS) nib. I grabbed my Pilot G2 0.7mm, 0.5mm, and 0.38mm. They are in that order in the following pictures. (I apologize for the lighting – I did my best to salvage with Photoshop).

I would say the Rotring Core XS with Private Reserve Supershow Blue is between a Pilot G2 0.5mm and 0.7mm on 20lb every day multipurpose paper.

Hope this helps or at least is interesting to someone out there. Take care and be well.

I haven’t mentioned what I’ve been working with lately in terms of pens and related goodies. Of course I’m still browsing office supplies and finding resistance futile. Would you expect anything less from me?

What does a girl buy herself for a birthday present? I bet your answer is something like “It depends on the girl.” Well this girl bought herself a shiny new fountain pen to honor the big 3-0! It arrived early so don’t start singing to me yet… I’ll let you know when the party can begin. (wink)

If any of you are on Twitter and haven’t discovered the growing community of pen and paper addicts, I suggest you get on over there and create an account. (Follow me and say “Hi” too!) Well someone mentioned a sale at Swisher Pens and I just happened to see a really fancy schmancy fountain pen with a fine nib and converter originally marked $25 on sale for $9.99. My spidey sense tingled and I did the “I really don’t need another pen” squirm. But my birthday is quickly approaching and it is a great deal and I have bottles of ink that I need to use up and … well, you get the picture.

Introducing my newest love: the Rotring Lysium Core.

core vs bic

Lets start with the body design, shall we? I decided that a side-by-side with the most commonly found ballpoint might be the most useful for viewers. Here is the Core sitting next to a BIC ballpoint. The body is chunky but not much longer than the BIC.

The grip area is contoured and inset on one side but rounded and ridged on the other half. It’s difficult to explain but I think the pictures will help clarify. I was a bit worried since I had read a few reviews that wrote off the pen entirely because of this design feature. Luckily I find the pen comfortable and my writing style works well with the shape.

The pen is just plain attractive. The aluminum body has pink accents that say “Turn This Way,” “Write On System,” “Force Resource” and “Core.” They aren’t over powering and I had to squint to read them clearly. Its subtle and stylish- not distracting. The pen has one red ring where the two halves meet. There are also four inset windows for ink level visibility. Overall the aesthetics of this pen are very pleasing to me.

The stainless steel fine nib is marked “XS” and is advertised as fine and fine is exactly what it is. I love it. It is a smooth experience and lays down consistent line of ink. I have it loaded with a cartridge of Private Reserve “Supershow Blue.” It takes a little bit to get it writing if I keep the cap off for a short time but I think that could be ink related?

This writing sample is characteristic of all the jotting and marking I’ve done with it since Thursday morning. The nib is smooth and lays down an even line of ink without any skips or blobbing. It is a joy to write with.

The one feature of this pen which I’m uncertain about is the cap. Its large and funky and I love the design of it. The only problem is its weight. The cap clips solidly into place on both ends but it does throw the balance of the pen off a bit. I write with the cap off at work. I’m really not worried about misplacing the cap due to its size and I don’t leave the pen uncapped for long periods of time due to the start-up factor. It isn’t a deal breaker for me. I might get used to it or I may just not post the cap…

The clip is metal and stylish. I like how it looks clipped to my compact circa planner. Isn’t it schnazzy?

The last thing I wanted to show was the groovy internal workings of the pen. There are two small orange “tabs” that move with the insertion of the cartridges. The cartridge just slid in and I pressed it into place and the orange tabs moved toward the nib. Removing the cartridge causes them to move in the opposite direction. I like the feature even if I don’t fully understand its function. And anything orange is great, no?

I have a fountain pen cartridge question. The small plastic piece that is pushed into the cartridge when you load it is inside the cartridge. Can this small piece of plastic stop ink from flowing out of the cartridge?

My latest drawing WIP

Lastly I wanted to leave you with a “teaser” of sorts. This is a drawing I’m working on of trees. You’ll notice a couple of my other new arsenal additions: a Uniball Kuru Toga 0.5mm pencil and a Mega Recycled Newsprint pencil. Stay tuned for a closer look at these.


What better way to close this than with a shot of a Gaillardia flower from my garden. Take care and be well.

Monday was a productive day and I had a real nice selection of pens to choose from… not my entire arsenal but a great sampling.


Too many pens? NEVER!

I decided to give my Staples OptiFlow in blue a good workout.

House brands are not a sure thing. I am happy to report that Staples got it right with these. The pack of 6 pack includes 2 black and blue and one each in red and green. They are a 0.5mm rollerball with a slightly thicker than average barrel. The cap posts securely and makes a nice solid click sound when replaced.

Staples OptiFlow

Staples OptiFlow in blue, red, green & black 0.5mm

Staples OptiFlow

The blue ink is a true blue. The 0.5mm line is average for the size and can be seen next to the black UniBall Vision 0.7mm in the pics. I haven’t experienced any skipping or trouble writing with these pens yet and I don’t foresee any issues in the future.

Today’s Arsenal

Wednesdays are my days off and I like to try to do something fun. Today Matt and I went to the laundry. I decided to work on my pirates and socks combo idea. I am happy to share the results with you.

Pirate n Socks

I would have liked to have had a Sharpie or Mark-It with me. I think a thicker line would have been much nicer BUT I am going to keep working on this idea so stay tuned.

I also filled a page with some cute doodles of robots, shapes with faces, a flying bird, a monkey and other fun stuff. I drew these with my Uniball Vision 0.7mm and accented with a pink Pilot G2 mini and Papermate gel pens.

Doodles 20090429

Click to go to flickr - more sizes available.

Do you see my doodles getting looser and more free? I feel it when I grab my pen and place the tip to the paper. I no longer pre-criticize and censor. I just let it happen and work with it. I don’t tense up and think about messing up the shapes or ideas.

Lastly, I had to share this. Monday at work I found a piece of newsprint with a message for us all. It made me smile… life is short and we should try to have some fun every day.

Take care and be well.

Wakey Wakey Eggs n Bakey.

Have you ever gone to a breakfast buffet and eaten WAY too much meat? I think three bacon or sausage links is universal because you SHOULDN’T eat more than that. I probably did not learn my lesson though.

This lil doodle came out right before Matt swept me away to enjoy the brunch buffet at Charcoal Grill. numnomnom.


I know its not hilarious but it made you smile – didn’t it? I used a black Flair. It’s marker-like solid black line is perfect for quick doodles. The yellow yoke is Sharpie highlighter in non-fluorescent yellow. And yes that is white-out … I made a “oopsie” and fixed it quickly. I had a breakfast buffet to get to people!

It’s been raining for two straight days. The only plus side to spring rain is – FLOWERS!

One of my gardens featuring daffodils and hyacinths.

Matt and I ventured to a few stores for shopping. I was a very bad budgeted human and purchased the 20 Staedtler fineliner set with case. I’m sure you’ll be seeing those soon enough! Don’t expect new purchases as frequently in the weeks to come. I’m a thrifty gal and my budget is screaming at me for my splurges this month. But as everyone knows – treating yourself once in awhile is a good thing.

My major bargain purchase today was a dozen little Easter chicks. Aren’t they cute? Okay so they are strange but in a fun kind of “omgosh they are all staring at ME” way. Each box of six was marked $2.49 but I got them for 24 cents each! Yay for clearance! My army of lil artificial chicks is growing… fear them.

They're staring at me!

Did you notice the new header? No? Okay go scroll back to the top and take a gander. What do you think? I whipped it up with Gimp 2. If you can’t afford to purchase Photoshop, Gimp is an excellent alternative and its FREE! There are free brushes available from generous graphic folks and other compatible goodies. If you haven’t used a graphic program before, give Gimp a try. There are tutorials around the web to help you get your bearings and best of all, if you decide it isn’t for you, your budget won’t be crying.

I’ll leave you with two pictures of Iggy Pup.

Iggy Pup

Keep your head up - like this Mum.

Iggy Pup

Ya'll come back and visit again... pwease.

Take care and be well.

It’s been awhile … my apologies for not posting. The good news is I’ve added to my arsenal. More pens = happy!

First I need to show you my newest disposable fountain pen – the Itoya Blade. I opted for blue ink since I have a Pilot Varsity in Black.

Itoya Blade

The pen is slightly thinner and longer than the Varsity. I find it very comfortable to hold. The nib is much finer than the Varsity (US variety). The ink comes out smoothly and there is very little “noise” while writing. The blue is a great shade, not to light or dark. I really enjoy this pen!

Itoya Blade

Both the Varsity and Blade offer a inexpensive entry into the world of fountain pens. They sport visible ink supplies and smooth writing experiences. Varsity pens can be “hacked” and refilled with the fountain pen ink of your choice. Unfortunately every Itoya Blade hack attempt I have read about failed and resulted in the disposal of this disposable fountain pen. If anyone knows of a success in refilling one, please let me know.

Uniball Signo 207
The next addition to my arsenal is the pack of Uniball Signo 207s in 8 marvelous silky gel inks. I have been debating on this purchase for a LONG time. I broke out my black 207 0.7mm for work last week and fell in love with the silky gel ink. That did it – something so smooth and in pretty colors cannot be bad, right?

The pack includes Light Blue, Orange, Green, Pink, Purple, Red, Blue and Black. This picture below is off a bit but you get the gist of the colors. The pink is too neon for my liking. I just want a pink gel pen that I can write with without burning my retinas or straining myself into blindness. Any recommendations? Also, the pink seems to write a finer line that the other colors. Maybe its an illusion because the color is so much lighter. The purple is quite dark but rich, I’m pretty sure it will grow on me. The orange is yummy and I’m addicted to it – surprised?

Uniball Signo 207

I used to green on Friday. It was a deadline day but green just felt right. Maybe its my longing for my time in the garden and for leaves on the trees.

Uniball Signo 207Uniball Signo 207

Some of you may not be aware of the point difference between the Signo 207 in Med. (0.7mm) and Micro (0.5mm) so I did a side by side comparison.

I doodled a bit last night. This was the result… Doubt you’ll see these in the Louvre any time soon.

Good night all… Iggy Pup and I have some kitties to cuddle with and some sheep to count.
Iggy Pup
Take care and be well.

Today began with an indecisive visit to my pen stash… What did today feel like? Fine point black ink? blue ink? medium point? Color? I grabbed a handful… actually selected one by one an entire handful of pens and set off to work.

Indecisive Pen Day
My selected stash included: Pilot G2 0.7 black, Bic Triumph 730R black, Uniball Jetstream blue, Pilot Precise V5 black, Pentel Energel Fine black, Sharpie Pen black, Uniball Signo 207 blue, Pilot Precise V5 retractable black and on top is a G2 in brown.

I wrote in my Markings journal last night with the brown G2. I like the brown ink on the cream pages. But it wasn’t right for work. I hesitated to make my selection until I had something to write. I finally grabbed the Sharpie pen in black.

There has been a lot of buzz about these pens. Sharpie in pen form that doesn’t bleed through paper is great. I find them reliable and good for art and writing. The barrel shape is quite narrow which doesn’t match my mood some days but when it does, these pens are reliable and never fail to write well.

I am pretty attentive to details and not long after uncapping the pen, I realized there were some significant dents in the barrel. I’m disappointed. This pen has been safely stored in a pen case at home or in my purse. Unless there are some mini-ninjas in my purse beating up my writing utensils, this damage happened during what I consider normal conditions.

Has anyone else run into this? I was contemplating buying the multi color set at Office Depot which includes black, blue, red, green, purple and orange. But now I am not so sure.

Work went by and Matt and I escaped to run errands. A trip to Office Max resulted in the purchase of…

One pack of Pilot G2 in the newly available 0.38mm tip. I had to try them… didn’t I? I was on a quest to find the Uniball Signo 207 needle point pens in orange but had no luck. I did find a retractable Tul gel pen in orange and a Tul ultra fine marker in orange at the registers. (open stock single pens – yay!) Yes I have an orange fetish these days… Can you blame me? Its cheery bright and legible otherwise it would probably be yellow calling my name all the time. I did pick up the big pack of Pilot G2 pens but put it down again. I have almost all the colors in there but the orange… I do want the orange one but so many repeats. Does anyone know of pen exchange program?

Another component of my daily arsenal was one of the tatoos that came with the egg dying kit we used yesterday. I put it on the back of my hand thinking maybe it would last through the afternoon. I can’t believe it survived through a shower and my neurotic hand washing today!

Just another little reminder that spring is here and flowers SHOULD start blooming one of these days.

Take care and be well.