Tag Archives: Ink Samples

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.



Test Tube Racks = Ink Sample Storage

I’ve been looking for new ideas on how to store the fountain pen ink samples I order from Goulet Pens or Isellpens.com, as mine were currently all jumbled in a Really Useful Box plastic bin from Office Depot. Goulet started offering a Ink Sample Vial Holder for $15, and I was mighty tempted – here’s a pic from their website:

But I saw mention on fountain pen forums that there was a similar product offered via Amazon for much cheaper. So off I went, and soon found the Karter Scientific 15/17mm Plastic Test Tube Rack. There were several reviews from customers stating they used these racks exactly for fountain pen ink samples, and that they worked great. And they hold 50 vials vs the 40 Goulet’s holds. Best of all, they were CHEAP at $5.99. Reviews also indicated that it might be a cheaper quality and falls apart easily, but for the price I decided to risk it and see for myself. So I ordered two! (Thank you Amazon Prime!!)

Here’s how the rack looked unassembled:


Karter Scientific 15/17mm Test Tube Rack – Unassembled

There were no installation instructions included, but it wasn’t hard to figure out. Except one of the rows has smaller openings (for tapered test tubes) and I didn’t put them in the right order the first go around:


Karter Scientific 15/17mm Test Tube Rack – Upside Down

Here it is in the correct order:


Karter Scientific 15/17mm Test Tube Rack – Correctly Assembled This Time!


So, one of the things I’d read somewhere said that the rack also functioned as a pen stand of sorts. So of course, I had to test it out.


Fountain Pens in the Karter Scientific 15/17mm Test Tube Rack

The fattest pens I have are the Lamy Safaris, and it actually worked well as a holder as long as the test tube rack wasn’t moved around – once it was jostled, the Lamys tended to move around and change position (but they never fell out). So as long as it was on a desk or stable surface it would work fine actually.


Fountain Pens in Karter Scientific 15/17mm Test Tube Rack


OK, back to the ink sample vials. I took a pack of regular standard-size office mailing labels, and cut out a grid to make color labels for each vial – dabbing a splotch of color on each vial and taping the sticker to the top.


Ink Samples in the Karter Scientific 15/17mm Test Tube Rack

This turned out to be a time-consuming process!


Ink Samples in Karter Scientific 15/17mm Test Tube Rack

OF COURSE I would have one extra vial more than the first rack holds. That’s why I bought two! More room for more ink samples, BWAHAHAHA.


Ink Samples in Karter Scientific 15/17mm Test Tube Rack

A top-down view, just because!


Ink Samples in Karter Scientific 15/17mm Test Tube Rack

Then I figured, well since I have it all out, why not add ink splotch labels to my full bottles of ink too? So ended up with my entire collection having labels on them now.


Ah, the inky goodness.

All the regular ink bottles just get stored in you’ve got it, another plastic bin.


They really ARE ‘Really Useful Boxes’.

And that concludes this week’s ink sample adventures.

Platinum Carbon Black Ink Sample

Showing some love for this Platinum Carbon Black ink sample. The irony of the quote’s message and my overdone lettering is not lost on me hahaha. Also, this clearly illustrates why I prefer a subtle grid to dots – I can’t write in a straight line to save my life. I also have problems eyeballing if things are level when hanging stuff, so…. Yep. Yay grids. 😀



This Week’s Inks

Annnnnd …. this week’s inks are exactly the same as last weeks. Because I liked this combo too much this week to change it over the weekend. And, let’s be honest, the thought of cleaning pens wasn’t at all appealing.


Why Carry A Notebook?

I just liked this quote. Perfect reason to carry a notebook around!

“Write down the thoughts of the moment. Those that come unsought for are commonly the most valuable.” – Francis Bacon

Pilot Metropolitan is YUMMY

Oh holy cannoli this Pilot Metropolitan writes LIKE BUTTER on this Habana paper. I almost can’t control it, it’s so smooth. I’m so used to my Lamys it kinda throws me off hahaha.

This Week’s Inked Pens

I end the week with slightly different pens and inks from when I started on Monday – the ink all up in my Kakuno feed just annoyed me too much, and if I was gonna flush that… Well, in for a penny, in for a pound haha. The inks: Pilot Metropolitan = Iroshizuku Yama-Budo. Pilot Kakuno = Diamine Graphite. Lamy Apple Green = Iroshizuku Kon-Peki. Lamy Lime = Iroshizuku Tsutsuji. Lamy Neon Coral = Platinum Carbon Black.


The inks in each pen. It’s a good thing the ink samples take me awhile to go through, cause I’d have to buy all 3 of the Iroshizuku inks otherwise!


This Week’s Inks

This week’s ink choices! Man this Metropolitan M is a fat line in comparison!

And the pens:

Current Inks: 06/15