We somewhat recently got in some new finishes of the Pilot Custom 74. Pilot makes really good nibs, a little bouncy, a bit wet, smooth and reliable, and I have a small fleet of Pilot Customs that band together to work hard and avoid the back corners of my desk drawers. I almost always have one or more inked up, mainly because the nibs are so great.


The new finishes are the Blue Stone, a translucent Red, and a Forest Green, also translucent. You can see them here.


I was particularly eager for the Custom 74 Blue Stone as I use a lot of blue inks, blue-black, light blue, dark blue. There’s not much to this one that is different from the other 74s in existence, other than its translucent blue finish. It’s a lovely translucent blue for what it’s worth.



At around the time of the arrival of these customs, we also got a restock in of the Sailor Yurameku inks. They are all a bit ethereal and mysterious and sort of a shady way to go through life, so I thought I would do a few swabs of the ones that look the most enticing to me.


Quite unhelpfully, I, for some reason, chose not to label these ink swabs, and so I had to go back and do some sleuthing. It’s a strange thought, that after almost a decade of working in a pen shop, taking photos of inks, writing a blog on stationery and inks, I decided it was not necessary to label them. Another one of life’s great unsolvable conundrums.



After some puzzling, the inks are, from top to bottom: Kangyou, Kitsune Biyori and Itezora. You can see all the Yurameku inks here.


Below: Kangyou


Below: Kitsune Biyori



Below: Itezora




In any case, new pen day is always a day of fresh inspiration, something new to test out, to get words onto the page with, to find a suitable ink match for. It’s a couple of minutes, or more if I’m lucky, to spend away from my screens and emails, unwind my brain a little as I settle into a few pages of my journal.


There is something lovely and satisfying about a few tools prepared, filled, sharpened, at the ready. Maybe it’s the ritual of preparation, taking the time to get set up, to sort out the pens and things for your pen roll or your pen case, and having them waiting for you for those pockets in your day when you need them, whether it’s during a class or at work, taking notes during a zoom meeting, or in the evening with a few pieces of correspondence stationery or your journal.


I guess if you’re reading this, I’m preaching to the choir, but as life moves increasingly faster, it is these rituals that help ground me in time and space, an effort to process some of the heaviness of life, along with all the gifts and light and brightness.




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June 09, 2022 — Liz Chan


christine arnaud

christine arnaud said:

You seem to be back to full energy level and that’s great (and fast just one month into the new baby) so, now, Liz, don’t keep us guessing What’s her name ?? !
Best wishes and thanks for your dedication.

Mike Jordan

Mike Jordan said:

Hi Liz,
I enjoy the relaxed, introspective style of your blog posts. As you wrote of the satisfaction of preparing the supplies, I couldn’t help but liken it to a Japanese tea ceremony. Although not generally planned and executed with the same degree of precision, it’s still a ceremony of sorts but for writers, and usually relaxing (accidents with open ink bottles notwithstanding).
When seeing the photo of the latest addition to your family, I saw the crumpled white blanket as tiny wings behind your little angel. :)
Keep up the rituals, we all need peace and tranquillity wherever we can find it.

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