Tag Archives: Fountain Pen Ink

The Maruman Mnemosyne Word Book

Using the Maruman Mnemosyne Word Book to catalog fountain pen ink samples.






‘Nuff said.

I use the ‘dip in ink vial and swab over the card’ method, but this method used by @silverlinings_x on Instagram looks awesome too, kinda like little Pantone color cards.


New Ink Samples to Test

New Ink Samples! Ordered just because I’ve wanted to try them.


Diamine Ruby – nice deep red, aptly named.

Iroshizuku Momiji – leans towards pink, pretty though.

Diamine Wild Strawberry – crazy, when wet I swear it looks orange!

Iroshizuku Yu-Yake – pretty, light tangerine, not overly pumpkin

Diamine Terracotta – pretty! rich but not as dark as Diamine Ancient Copper

Iroshizuku Chiku-Rin – pretty green, might be too light for daily use though

Diamine Sahara Grey – umm, where’s the grey in here?

J. Herbin Poussiere de Lune – pretty dusky purple

Pelikan Edelstein Amethyst – a richer more vibrant purple, but looks really similar to Poussiere de Lune here.

Diamine Blue Velvet – positively electric, but still not as much as Noodlers Baystate Blue.


Goulet Pens Ink Drop – September ’15

If you are into fountain pens – either as a beginner or advanced user – you’ll soon see the appeal of testing out new inks via ink sampler vials before committing to a whole bottle. If you only get inks occasionally or know exactly what you like, you can get them one by one from places like Goulet Pens, Anderson Pens, or Isellpens.com. But if you like experimenting and being surprised with new ink colors every month, then check out the Goulet Pens Ink Drop subscription. Every month they will ship out 5 ink samples to you based on a specific theme (check out Goulet’s Ink Drop Archives for past Ink Drop collections).

I recently received September 2015’s Ink Drop collection, and love these vibrant jewel-toned colors. I swabbed them right away onto my Maruman Mnemosyne Word Book cards. Pelikan Edelstein Jade and Topaz look especially fabulous.


Ink Sample Organization Revisited

When I last posted about these awesome test tube racks I found on Amazon ….


…. that I use to hold all my fountain pen ink samples (they come in little vials like from Goulet Pens for example), I hadn’t yet developed a good system for the color coding of the labels. I’ve since been inspired by @sightofthesea and @murberdraws on Instagram, and have redone all my ink sample labels using these hole reinforcement stickers from my local Target:


I used a Q-tip dipped in my ink to swab the stickers. The only downside is that they get really fragile the more saturated they get – if I waited too long to affix them to my ink vials, they practically disintegrated on me. I had to do each vial one by one – swab, peel off, stick on vial. You can see in the pics where they got wonky or started to warp on me – they’re not all perfect circles.


I love how the ink vials look now!! So clean and colorful.


It almost feels like some variation on a Tetris game haha.


I liked how they looked so much I even put them on some of my cute little ink bottles too.


Now I can instantly see what color I might want to use!


If you want other ideas on how to label your ink samples, check out these great pics on Instagram from @kskyart and @vittar. To find these labels, look for AVERY brand labels, type number “5408”, they’re 3/4″-round labels that fit the tops of sample vials perfectly.



Inky Goodness: J. Herbin Emerald of Chivor

The new hotness in the fountain pen ink world right now is J. Herbin Emerald of Chivor. Causing a lot of excitement and anticipation, this new color is part of the 1670 Inks Collection. From the J. Herbin website, “The 1670 Collection celebrates the rich life and adventures of J. Herbin, an enterprising French sailor of the mid-17th century. He made a number of voyages to India, collecting ingredients and formulas for his sealing wax and inks. Today, Herbin inks are widely used and internationally renown.”

The first ink in the collection is Rouge Hematite. At first more of a dark red with green sheen, it was later reformulated and legend goes it now has more gold sparklies similar to Stormy Grey. I alas have the first bottle, with very unobtrusive amounts of gold glitter. Below is a pic from my bottle written with a Noodlers Ahab.


The second ink in the collection is Stormy Grey, a warm gray with heavy gold accents.


The third ink is Bleu Ocean, which I do not have a bottle of yet so have no sparkly ink shots to share. But Google has plenty to go around!

Emerald of Chivor is the 4th in the 1670 Anniversary line of inks by J. Herbin, this ink is a dark teal green that has a completely unexpected and wondrous red sheen in certain papers, especially the magically delicious Tomoe River Paper. Here are some comparisons on different papers.

Written with a Noodlers Ahab in a Quo Vadis Habana notebook – you get a lot of gold but not a lot of red:



From a Midori Traveler’s Notebook grid refill (again with a Noodlers Ahab):


Here are samples of EoC written on Tomoe River paper with the Noodlers Ahab – you can see how the red sheen pops out, it literally becomes a different ink before your eyes.




Moral of the story? To get the wicked red sheen, use Tomoe River Paper. If you’re good with a dark teal green with ridiculous amounts of gold sparkle, then enjoy on the paper of your choice. And mostly I just wanted to share in my sparkly gorgeous ink pics haha.

A Fool With A Pen – Review of Diamine’s 150th Anniversary Inks

I came across this fantastic review of Diamine’s 150th Anniversary ink series by A Fool With A Pen, and seriously cannot stop looking at these gorgeous pics, I LOVE them. Check the link out for more beauties like this close-up of Diamine Terracotta.

Backpocket Journals from Curnow Bookbinding

I’ve had a love-hate relationship with Field Notes notebooks for a long time now. Field Notes are those infamous 3.5″ x 5.5″ pocket-sized notebooks in fun editions and colors. But … Field Notes paper is NOTORIOUSLY crappy for fountain pens.

So I’ve been searching for a fountain pen friendly version of Field Notes, the same size, but with paper that doesn’t make me want to throw the notebook across the room. So in my research had heard about the legendary Tomoe River Paper, and wondered if they came in notebooks this size. Somehow I stumbled upon this fantastic review from Modern Stationer, and learned all about Curnow Bookbinding’s ‘Backpocket Journals’. They make “Tomoe River Paper Editions” with the much-acclaimed fountain-pen friendly paper.

To order, you FB message or email them, and then pay via PayPal. My order just arrived tonight, WOOHOO! The package was a simple plastic envelope with the little notebooks, a handwritten note, and a carbon copy of an invoice (the accountant in me had to go OMG HOW CUTE IS THAT!), just a bit.

First Impressions:

I was surprised to see they were a cream color. It didn’t even occur to me that they’d come in a cream, I just assumed white, so I didn’t think to ask. Given the choice, I would have picked white of course. But oh well, I didn’t specify! Lesson learned for my next order. I Facebook messaged Curnow Bookbinding, who were wonderfully nice and helpful. They said they had some white paper to experiment with, and in the future if I wanted to place a custom order with white paper to just let them know ahead of time (to make sure the white paper is in stock) and that’d be easy to switch out the paper at no extra charge. So yay, white paper next time!


Backpocket Journals from Curnow Bookbinding

The notebooks are hand-sewn and not stapled like Field Notes. Look at the cute thread colors!


Backpocket Journals from Curnow Bookbinding

The stitching is glued down in the middle of the notebooks.


Backpocket Journals

Size Comparisons with Field Notes:

The Backpocket Journals at 3.5 x 5.25″ are the same width as the Field Notes notebooks, but about a 1/4″ shorter. Field Notes are 3.5 x 5.5″. It’s not a huge difference, but they do look a little smaller when next to each other.


Backpocket Journals from Curnow Bookbinding vs Field Notes

The view from the top.


Backpocket Journals from Curnow Bookbinding vs Field Notes

The Backpocket Journals look a little skinnier in profile too – but remember how crazy thin Tomoe River Paper is – it’s practically like tracing paper! So it would take up less bulk in a notebook.


Backpocket Journals from Curnow Bookbinding vs Field Notes

The shorter, slender Field Notes alternative my fountain pens LOVE. It definitely feels and looks like a different kind of notebook.


Backpocket Journals from Curnow Bookbinding vs Field Notes

Paper Quality:

The pages only come blank so far, which is perfect for me as I’m not entirely sure what I want to do with them yet. And included is a handy ruled guide that shows up easily when placed underneath the pages to help with the whole ‘writing in a straight line’ thing (which I cannot seem to do to save my life. Seriously). So yay for that! I ordered two 3-packs, and only received the one ruled guide – I’m not sure if its one per order or just an oversight. Another question for later!

I immediately got out my pens and wrote on the first page with the vintage Conway Stewart flex inked with J. Herbin Stormy Grey ink. I definitely had to wait a few seconds to let it dry – the flex nib is so wet, it sat there on the surface for a good minute before drying (in my non-timed estimation, it seemed like a while anyways). So warning! Smearing might be an issue with you lefties or impatient folks. And this flex nib lays down a very wet line too – it dried a lot quicker with my Lamy Fines and Pilot Mediums. But the BEST PART – as with my one other experience with Tomoe River Paper – there is no bleeding, feathering, major showthrough – it handles the ink wonderfully. just what I wanted.


Backpocket Journals from Curnow Bookbinding

Now to add some extra ink tests!


Backpocket Journals from Curnow Bookbinding

And HOLY CANNOLI it shows the gold flakes and sheen AMAZINGLY well. I can’t stop tilting the notebook under the crappy yellow lighting in my kitchen hahaha.


Backpocket Journals from Curnow Bookbinding

All in all, I’m really excited to try these out. I’m not 100% thrilled they’re cream, but I can live with it and it’s certainly no deal-breaker. I highly recommend these notebooks. My next step is to figure out how to insert them into my new Midori-style cover!

Conway Stewart and J. Herbin Stormy Grey

Awhile back I received a sample of the much-talked about J. Herbin Stormy Grey ink from an Instagram friend, and was SUPER excited. But once I loaded it up into a couple of different fountain pens, I wasn’t able to see the legendary gold flakes. It was so disappointing, but I came to the conclusion I didn’t have a nib broad enough to really take advantage of the ink.

So I put it aside until I was ready to try another pen.

And then recently met up with close friends for dinner and geeked out about some pen stuff, and my friend offered to lend me her vintage flex fountain pen to play with a bit. She had bought it off of ebay awhile ago, and it wasn’t in stellar condition, but worked if I wanted to try it out. And I was like, HELLS YES. My friend couldn’t remember the type or name, but after some Googling it looks like it might be a Conway Stewart 75.

First I inked it up with Diamine Ancient Copper – not having ever used a vintage pen before, THAT was an experience! Trying to pull out that little lever, and fill up from a bottle … vintage pens are complicated!


Vintage Conway Stewart Flex Fountain Pen

Initially I thought the pen was kind of an ugly brown…. but it kinda grows on you. The Diamine Ancient Copper leaves some ink crud around the nib though, so I cleaned it out (another interesting experience!) and tried the infamous J. Herbin Stormy Grey sample.

AND OMG I SEE THE GOLD FLAKES NOW! Shown below on some Tomoe River Paper samples an awesome pen friend sent my way.

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J. Herbin Stormy Grey in Vintage Conway Stewart Flex Fountain Pen


J. Herbin Stormy Grey in Vintage Conway Stewart Flex Fountain Pen

I am in major love with this ink!


J. Herbin Stormy Grey in Vintage Conway Stewart Flex Fountain Pen

Then of course, had to pose the pen with some new desk accessories I got at Michaels today.


Levenger Circa Junior Notebook and Vintage Conway Stewart Flex Fountain Pen


Vintage Conway Stewart Flex Fountain Pen and a fake mini typewriter

Iroshizuku Tsutsuji vs Diamine Flamingo Pink

After winning Iroshizuku Tsutsuji recently in a giveaway put on by the amazing Goulet Pens, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to compare my two current favorite pink inks with gold sheen: the newly received Iroshizuku Tsutsuji vs Diamine Flamingo Pink.


Tsutsuji is a gorgeous bright fuschia pink with a killer gold sheen.



Flamingo Pink has a gold sheen too, but it’s much more subtle and less in-your-face than Tsutsuji. It can be hard to decide whether this color is more orangey coral, or more pink, and it depends a lot on the paper and lighting you are working with. But its a GORGEOUS color regardless, and has just the right amount of gold sheen.


Monday Matchup Giveaway Win!

Every week, Goulet Pens offers a #MondayMatchupGiveaway contest on Instagram, where users submit pics of their favorite pen/ink combos, and a winner is randomly chosen. Well, last week I won!! The prize of that week’s giveaway was the Lamy Joy calligraphy pen and a bottle of Iroshizuku Tsutsuji ink.


Initially I was more excited to get the ink, as I’d already had tons of experience with Lamy Safaris and even a Lamy 1.5 nib. But I actually really like the Lamy Joy. The pen feels like a different animal from the Safari entirely. The balance and feel of it just feels more … special. And what’s even better, not only did Goulet Pens ship the pen with a converter, but it came inked too!


Look at this glorious color!! It’s a bright pink fuschia with a amazing gold sheen.


The bottles really do look like perfume bottles.


I love that Goulet Pens always handwrites comments in every packing slip and labels the ink color used. After seeing Madigan’s gorgeous handwriting here, I definitely think I need to get a sample of Diamine Burgundy Rose.


All in all, I’m majorly excited to have won this weekly giveaway from Goulet Pens, thank you soooooo much for both offering this giveaway every week, and for randomly selecting me! I love this pen/ink combo.