Some time ago, I had had some vague idea that I could do a monthly blog post on which pens I had inked up, something to keep me on track, and would also be useful since I sometimes ink up new pens or new special editions that come into the shop. Lots of potential birds with one stone. It goes without saying that that was a bit ambitious, if still a nice thought.


In any case, there is no better way to start off the new year than with some ambition and a few freshly filled pens, and so I’ve cleaned a bunch out and filled up some more.


  1. Edison Beaumont (medium) with Kyo No Oto Aonibi
  2. Sailor Pro Gear Slim Shikiori Dragon’s Palace (medium-fin) with Kobe #44 Sumaura Seaside
  3. Sailor 1911S (medium) with Noodler’s Midnight Blue
  4. TWSBI 580 Rose Gold (fine) with Diamine Chocolate Brown
  5. Platinum 3776 Calico (broad) with J. Herbin Cacao du Bresil




Kyo No Oto Aonibi is a solid blue in my Beaumont.



Kobe #44 Sumaura Seaside is another popular one, a teal with a nice red sheen.



Noodler’s Midnight Blue is another great office blue, dark and subtle, highly readable.



Diamine Chocolate is a great, dark brown that’s even good for the office, as it is quite dark. I love that this is a dark ink with character, and it comes out super smooth onto the page.



J. Herbin Cacao du Bresil is an ink I do not use often enough, considering how much I like it every time I ink it up. Its shading and its tone is just so earthy and lovely for all seasons of life. It is a perfect match for my vintage looking celluloid Calico Platinum 3776. Every once in a while Jon does a special order for a customer for a Calico and I know that this person is a kindred spirit.



I chose these inks to match the pens, either in colour or spirit, and so they hold no particular new year’s association. I’ve been in the warehouse more than usual this past week, with the kids and with the shipping team off, and there was something nice about standing in front of the ink wall, contemplating the future of the pens. It’s probably asking too much of these pens, for them to provide me with inspiration, good ideas, creativity, the right words, etc. etc., so I will just enjoy writing with them while I have them.





It is hard to keep up with everything, and in 2021, enough has fallen by the wayside that I’m allowing it all to just swim around me. Every once in a while I’ll just reach out and grab onto something, a floating pastry, a musical instrument in need of tuning. The other day I was watching a video of someone playing a cello on my iPad. Caleb came to look over my shoulder and said, and I quote, “What’s that?”


The new year has started out strong, as we took the last week to restock, place new orders, sweep up under the packing tables. There are lots of good things to come, including lots of new books for the shelves, new stickers, new brands. We are making headway clearing out some of the holiday build-up in the warehouse and the shop, boxes of boxes of cardboard ready to go. Chicken spent some time under the packing table and came out covered in dust balls, and I had to swat him around with the broom, trying not to laugh maniacally while doing so.


I am waiting for that energy to emerge in the house, kids clothes and broken bits of toys and erasers and cups everywhere, and perhaps that will happen when the kids go back to school. Or if they don’t go back, perhaps I’ll just crawl into a corner. All I want to do is take pictures of the cats without a dirty sock or a pair of opened scissors, blades glinting—possibly the only thing in the house glinting—in the shot, waiting for someone’s sockless foot.


Either way, I’ve started with some of my stationery, fountain pens that have long needed cleaning out are now soaking or have been filled with water, and I recently spent a very satisfying evening of sharpening all the pencils in the house. Grateful for another year of this.


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January 02, 2022 — Liz Chan



Tanya said:

These are one of my favourites, please keep doing them. I love seeing what inks people use and how they look. I now want to try Diamine Chocolate Brown.

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