No-sew Pen Wrap

December 26, 2011 Leave a comment

As promised, here’s the tutorial for a no-sew pen wrap:

First, grab a spare pillowcase. Lay it out lengthwise with the open side to the top.

Next, grab the bottom of the pillowcase and fold upwards so the seam is even with the opening of the pillowcase. The first picture shows you what it should look like before you pull it up even. The second picture shows what it should look like before you take the next step.

Next, you’ll repeat the prior step, this time only pulling the bottom end halfway up the length. See the picture for details.

Then you’ll tuck some pens into the resulting pocket.

When you’re done with your pens, you’ll fold down the top.

Then you’ll start to pack up the pens for travel. Fold the wrap over. I start with the right but you can start with the left. Same thing.

Fold over the other side.

The last thing will be to roll up and secure the wrap.

In my case I used a Dell rubber belt strap originally used to secure a laptop power adapter. You can use whatever comes to hand.  If you want to use a rubber belt strap and don’t have one lying around you can find one on Ebay for cheapies. Just search on “Dell rubber belt strap”. The cost can go from.99 cents to $3 USD. Not bad total cost for a pen wrap.

Have fun!

Just around the corner

December 25, 2011 Leave a comment

Well, here we are at the end of another year. It’s a time of reflection – a time to figure out what worked, what didn’t.

On the ‘what worked’ list I put the effort to cut back on pen/ink spending. According to the crowds at the local shopping malls this week, there isn’t anything wrong with the economy but in my personal economy the lessons of “use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without” learned from Depression-era relatives has come in handy. Fountain pens are durable and lasting, the inks come in big enough bottle sizes to last a long time also. So there’s been a lot of writing this year, just not online–as you’re already aware.

On the ‘what didn’t work’ list: removing a nib from one of my two Stipula Passaporto pens. Kudos to Stipula for being so conscientious about ensuring the fit of the nib in the casing–there’s no way any ink is going to come out that end of the pen save properly through the feed channel. However, trying to unscrew the nib to swap it out is like trying to unscrew lug nuts from a tire by staring at them.

A friend attempted to help with the nib removal process but destroyed the feed and bent the nib in the process, leaving the black collar still firmly inside the blue pen casing.

Soooo…if any of you are considering buying a Stipula Passaporto, order it with the nib you want, as nib swaps are fairly tricky. Some FPNers have figured out ways to get the nib free without removing the feed or the collar.  However, if you want to spend more time writing than fiddling with the nibs, order the pen with the nib you prefer.

2012 is shaping up to be an interesting year already. I have already resolved to continue the trend of not doing a lot of buying.  In fact, I recently made a no-sew pen wrap out of material I had around the house rather than spend money to buy a pen wrap or spend money buying materials to make one.  Will post the details about that this week.

In the meantime I hope you’re all having a nice holiday, enjoying some creative time with your pens and inks.


Long time no post!

November 26, 2011 Leave a comment

If there was any clearer way to demonstrate the conflict between real life (RL) and the virtual life (VL), it would be the abandonment of blogs. To be a successful blogger one has to commit to posting on a regular basis. Blogging was a hobby for me and fell off the list of priorities, as hobbies are wont to do when confronted with the challenges of RL. However, I have kept up my pen/ink/paper fascination which, after nearly 5 years, has morphed from a hobby into a habit.

Habits define us. You’d never look up my name in a Who’s Who and find ‘blogger’. Though it would definitely say ‘pen/ink/paper person’.

Back to it.

January 2, 2011 Leave a comment

Hello and welcome.  Since I last wrote in here I have acquired a Noodlers Flex Pen and a bottle of the Noodlers Black Swan in Australian Roses. Martin Paul may smack my hand with a letter opener (flat side, please) for my latest backslide. However, I can clearly blame my peers, as the Noodlers pen and the Black Swan ink seem to be the combo of the season!  There are plenty of other blogs and FPN’ers who have discussed the merits of this particular combination so I won’t rehash that stuff here. However, I will post some shiny pretty pictures for those who like pen/ink/paper pr0n. Alas, no writing samples as my handwriting is pretty sad.

Noodlers Flex Pen and Noodlers Black Swan in Australian Roses Ink

Noodlers Flex Pen and Noodlers Black Swan in Australian Roses Ink

My latest effort to convert everything non-pen/ink related into something that IS pen/ink related has succeeded. I happened to have some extra contact lens cases sitting around and I thought, “These have to be good for something.”  Sure enough, they make very nice and extremely compact ink carriers.

Ink Carrier Lens Case

Ink Carrier Lens Case : ink is J. Herbin Orange Indien

I can combine them with my tiffin ink case to carry a LOT of ink. Generally I carry the tiffin when I’m doing doodling projects.  To enable the quick switch of colours in my doodles I use a dip pen and these contact lense cases carry the perfect amount of ink for tons of doodles.

[Note to the doodlers out there–go check out Leigh’s video on the magic of water and capillary action. FUN!!!]

The last entry here will involve the flushing of pens with a c/c (captive converter) system. For the demonstration here I am using a Krone Dissonance pen. The idea for this one came up after a particularly rough day in the office, where I had been typing and mousing for literally hours to meet a particularly harsh deadline. My hand and wrist were aching something fierce but I wanted to flush out my pen and fill it with some lovely Noodlers Apache Sunset.

As I began the flushing process, it became clear really quickly that the task was going to take a really really long time since grasping and turning the small knob was making my wrist/hand threaten to leave me forever.  What I needed was a clamp.

Krone Resonance Pen and clamp

Krone Resonance Pen and clamp

Krone Resonance Pen and clamp in action

Krone Resonance Pen and clamp ready to flush pen

I dug through my toolbox and found this clamp. Once attached to the pen’s knob, I dunked the nib down into some water and while holding the clamp handle with one hand, used the other hand to turn the pen clockwise and counter-clockwise to flush out the nib. This worked better because the pen is larger than the knob and I was able to get the job done more quickly. What would make it even quicker would be to have a really small clamp that can be twirled around with one finger while one hand holds the pen steady. But hey–I work with what I have available.

Later today I plan on getting an ultrasonic cleaner to more thoroughly clean my pens. A good start to the new year–clean pens and plenty of ink!  2011 is going to be a very good year, indeed. :) Hope you had safe and happy celebrations!

Oh dear.

November 28, 2010 2 comments

Uh oh.

Remember how in the last posting I mentioned I wasn’t buying any more pens or inks? I made that resolution some time ago and had been fantastic about sticking to it…until last week.

A great deal came up (isn’t that always what sways us to break our financial committments to ourselves?). A Visconti Homo Sapiens, EF nib, was up for grabs and included a Visconti travelling inkwell.


Sheer magic! How could I POSSIBLY resist? Not only do I now have two HS pens, I also have two inkwells so I can carry two different inks on the go.

“But InkyIndi,” I hear you saying, “you love B and BB nibs. You’ve made no secret of this. Why are you buying a pen with an EF nib?”

Well, gentle readers, I do love B and BB nibs but from time to time the EF nibs are enchanting because they allow me to cram many words in a very small space. This is great when I’m working on school work, taking notes. Though I will confess, my original intent had been to take out the EF nib and swap it for a B nib I already have. I may still do this, as the EF nib gives way more feedback than I’m used to. While it’s novel for a couple of lines, I find myself longing for the smooth sweet sweep of colourful ink crafting words across the page.


In other news, I recently cleaned out all my gel pens, sharpie markers, highlighters, mechanical pencils, random ballpoints, rollerballs and other non-FP pens. If there’s anyone out there who is still reading my blog after my longish absence, here’s your chance to score some pens. Send me a note via the form to the right of this entry. Include your mailing address and name. I’ll send you no fewer than 5 pens out of the stash you see below. Could be more but won’t be less. I’ve tested these, so if any didn’t make a mark within the first couple of scribbles, I threw them out. So this batch contains only pens that actually made a mark. International friends are welcome to join in on this offer.

Well what are you waiting for? Leave a note in the Digital Writing Desk!


Catching up & temptation

November 7, 2010 Leave a comment

Hello there Internet friends!

I’ve been pretty good about not buying any more pens or inks though this weekend I was tempted by a Danitrio Cum Laude. It was similar to the one seen here (image courtesy


Fortunately I was able to resist! On my list of pens to get are a Stipula Passaporto – stub nib. (image courtesy


Another Visconti Homo Sapiens (image courtesy


And while we’re on the subject of things with higher price tags, I’d also like to get the Visconti Homo Sapiens writing kit (image courtesy


Hey, I like to dream big. Speaking of dreaming big, how about a 100 Quo Vadis Habana notebooks (image courtesy



Unless I win the big jackpot lottery in 2011, chances are good few of these things will come into my life. Still…it’s nice to dream, isn’t it?

Not buying anything.

October 3, 2010 Leave a comment

Wow. Yeah. I’ve made a resolution that I can’t buy any more pens or inks until after February of next year. Am I crazy?  Maybe. What I really should be doing is cleaning out my meager collection of pens, moving the bulk of the Lamy Safaris on to loving homes where they will get more use than they do now. They can blame Visconti for being bumped from the pen rotation. Sorry, Safaris. I still think you’re cool.

Photo under GNU license from

One thing I haven’t put restrictions on is paper. Sorry, trees.

upset tree

For those of you on the East Coast, in the Mid-Atlantic area, there’s a new department store making a big splash. It’s called Ollie’s Bargain Outlet and it’s set up to give Big Lots a run for its money. I went there over the weekend and picked up five 5-subject notebooks for $1.49 each.

notebook front

The notebooks are made in India by Kejriwal Stationery. I did a quick internet search and found that Walgreens was carrying the same brand of notebook, single subject, made in Vietnam for the same price.

price tag

“But InkyIndi,” you’re saying to your computer monitor, “What is the PAPER like?”

Well, the paper has a kind of sheen to it, a bit of slickness that I was surprised to feel. It’s very thin and has bleedthrough.

Paper frontNow the back:

Paper back

The picture quality kinda sucks because I took the pics with my phone camera (couldn’t find my regular camera). However, you get the idea about this particular paper. I will use the notebooks–I like to be able to use the back of the pages but I’m too in love with B and BB nibs to trade out for F and XF nibs in the hope of not causing bleedthrough. Let the ink do what it likes. I will continue to write (and buy paper and polish up my ink/pen wish list for next year…mmmm). =)

Oh, and a small P.S. to JetPens. I love ya’ll but get in some Nomadic and Dr. Ion bags, ok?  The pens are great but we need bags to hold ’em. Thanks. ;)


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