Hello folks! Visit me at my new home–> TheSerialDoodler.com
Hello folks! Visit me at my new home–> TheSerialDoodler.com
I was very young when I started writing in journals. My mother, being an introvert herself, bought me my first diary, and I took to it quite naturally. I was extremely uncommunicative with people, very rarely raising my voice to talk or make conversation, but I was expressive in my writings. On paper, my thoughts were easy to pour out.
Much of writing is unpacking ourselves from the tightly-wound package of public perception and social pressures. The deliberate act of putting words on paper requires a certain measure of introspection and openness.
Perhaps more importantly, when I write, I am brave. I open doors that I never opened before. I confront my ignorance and willingly accept self-correction. I ask myself those very difficult questions, and I am able to write down and face the answers, painstakingly thought out and laid down, letter by letter. I write honestly, without trying to cover anything up, without trying to make me look better. Without judgment.
In writing, I meet a version of myself. One that’s inaccessible outside the pages of my journals. Through the years, it has been my safe space, helping me understand and love the person I meet through introspection and quiet meditation.
“Whether you’re keeping a journal or writing as a meditation, it’s the same thing. What’s important is you’re having a relationship with your mind.” – Natalie Goldberg
I’m currently reading “Irresistible” by Adam Alter and the first part talks about the biology of addiction. Though the book is about addictive behaviors, the first part touches on addiction to substance. It’s a pretty interesting read, I’m looking forward to really getting into it in the coming days.
I often stop and write down things that I want to remember while I’m reading. Or things that I want to chew on and understand better. I find that writing helps me sort out my thoughts, like they fall into order as I write. I remember things better this way too.
I wrote this page on my health/food journal yesterday because Montblanc Toffee Brown ink reminded me of the color of espresso. I’ve been keeping a health journal for the past weeks and to liven it up, I add pages like this. I write about food and drinks that I find interesting. I’m gathering a bit more pages before I write about the format I use for my health journal before I share it. It has been very helpful to me recently.
I really love the color of this ink. The photo doesn’t show off the gorgeous shading it has or how it remains vivid after drying on the page. Such a beautiful color.
I’ve had this ink on my wishlist since 2014, but I didn’t really go to Montblanc boutiques to check if they had it. Yesterday my husband and I were walking from Greenbelt 1 to Glorietta and we passed by the Montblanc boutique on the ground floor. We wandered in and I ogled the gorgeous pens on display. My husband bought the ink bottle because, as usual, I was hemming and hawing about getting it for myself. As soon as we got home, I inked up one of my favorite pens with it, my Parker Vacumatic Golden Brown.
My first impression before I tried the ink was that I loved the bottle. It’s so pretty, and functional too. That portion near the cap functions like a little pocket that catches ink so that your pen can suck it up even if there’s little ink left in the bottle. Sort of like its own ink miser. The bottle’s opening will fit large pens comfortably. The cap is, surprisingly, quite heavy for an ink bottle cap. It’s my first Montblanc ink, so I’m pretty excited to try it out.
When I put the pen on paper, it was pure pleasure. The ink flowed moderately wet, and it made the nib glide on paper. When wet, it’s the color of espresso. Rich, dark brown, almost a bit reddish. When it dries, it shows off the most beautiful shading. In natural light, it almost looks like there’s a soft fire glowing inside the strokes. The gradation of colors range from a rich, very dark brown, to a reddish, golden brown. Like luscious toffee. Here are a few close up shots of the writing sample.
The closeup shots don’t do it justice at all. It looks really beautiful in person. I think the closest hue to this I’ve encountered so far is Pilot Iroshizuku Tsukushi, but Toffee Brown has a redder hue. Diamine Ochre is also a little similar, but that has a bit more yellow in it, I think. It’s not water proof or water resistant.
Overall, it’s a wonderful ink! I wrote a whole page in my journal with it right after testing it out and it looks so beautiful on a full page. Like parts of it are softly glowing. I would love to see this in a stub nib. I’ll make a new post about it once I try that out. I think I’ve found my favorite new brown ink.
I’m going with “I love the Rhodium trim!”
It being Black Friday weekend, and the kickoff of the holiday buying season, there are a lot of new pens floating around social media. Pen makers and dealers are posting them, your friends are posting them, and every Instagram account or fountain pen forum has people posting them.
As this time is upon us, I shall now put on my “Ms. Fountain Pen Manners” hat. This is how a person with good manners responds to someone’s vile new pen they absolutely hate, or someone’s attractive new pen that comes in a box they don’t like, or whatever tricky situation arises.
1. A new pen arrives in dealers’ hands and hits Instagram. The color repels you; the material is garish. It’s awful. But your friends go gaga for it.
You want to say, “What’s wrong with you?! Are you high? That is molten aqua/orange/violet nightmare-fuel.”
Readers, that’s probably a tad harsh…
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My journal entry from early this morning was about Professor Pyg. Actually, I was just thinking about how Gotham (the TV series) is one of my favorite super hero TV series so far. Recently there has been quite a lot of TV series based on comic book stories. Gotham does a great job of portraying heroes and villains as complex individuals who became who they are in the future because of a series of events and decisions that led them there.
Professor Pyg doesn’t have a backstory, unfortunately, but it does lend to the story of Penguin and Jim Gordon. Gotham does a good job of showing how villains don’t just pop out of the woodwork, they have their own stories. In some instances, their stories converge with the stories of heroes. It’s just that they make a series of decisions that got them where they are. The origin stories are very interesting, for both heroes and villains.
Professor Pyg’s violent rampage was quite visual and visceral, it felt like something out of Criminal Minds. Oswald’s transformation from ambitious mafia small fry to criminal mastermind is also quite fascinating. The cycle of allowing himself to be emotionally vulnerable for the sake of friendship and companionship and then being betrayed twists him up more than his criminal activities do.
I hope the writers continue to do a good job on the series.
I got my first waterproof black ink last week. The waterproof Noodlers inks are always out of stock, so I bought a bottle of Platinum Carbon Ink off a friend’s collection. I made a few test drawings on my journal to see how well they hold up with watercolors. Needless to say, I am so happy with the results.
I love that the ink stays vibrant on the page even after drying up. Some inks become flat when dry, but this one stays shiny. It looks almost like it’s still wet on the page. It’s really saturated, so it’s best not to leave it in a pen that’s going to sit unused for too long. Smells a bit like Noodlers inks, too. The flow is pretty wet, I am very happy with it. It doesn’t seem to take longer to dry compared with most of my wet-flowing inks.
If you’re looking for thick, super-black ink that shows no shading and stays vibrant after drying, I would highly recommend this.
I’m always on the lookout for leatherworking workshops here in the south. It’s always somewhere in Quezon City, and I’ve never had the chance to join one because of how far the workshop venue usually are. So I was really excited when @beatnikmnl announced a basic leatherworking workshop at @commonroomph Alabang Town Center last October 14. I signed up right away.
I really enjoyed the workshop, and I did learn the basic skills that I needed in order to complete the personal projects that I had in mind. I wanted to make my own pen cases that are specifically tailor-made for the kinds of pens that I use. I am a fan of bespoke pen cases, though it’s always a challenge to have something made that fits your pens like a glove unless I decide to send my pens to the person who’s making my cases. I thought that this would be a fun skill to learn. We took home some extra materials that we could use to make our own projects. I picked a square piece of dark brown, full-grain leather. After the workshop, I went home and made my first pen slip for my two Kaweco Liliput pens.
I liked the pen slip that I made for my Kawecos, though I did modify this after a few days to make the pens easier to pull out. Today, I made another pen case for my other pocket pens; Kaweco Sport cappuccino and cognac, and a Sailor Progear Mini.
Here’s what it looks like with the flap open. Beside it is the modified pen slip for my Kaweco Liliput pens, I carved a half-circle so that the pens are easier to pull out. The fit was just right, but since the pens were so slim, I needed some space for my fingers to grip on the edge and pull them out comfortably. The half-circle I carved was just right for that.
It was a challenge to get the size of the flap right so that it fits through the loop, I wish I didn’t run out of leather so that I could have made the flap longer. I like the finished case, though.
The pens fit perfectly and are easy to slip in and pull out. I think the fit will be much better after a few days, when the leather becomes more molded to the shape of the pens.
I didn’t burnish the sides of the case too much, I like the finish to be a little raw and rustic-looking. For my next pen case project, I think I’ll pick a thicker/stiffer leather and try burnishing the edges.
I attached my little Kaweco medallion from my old leather pen case as a finishing touch. I wanted to add decorative stitches to the flaps but I decided against it. There’s a lot of room for improvement, but for a first attempt, I think I like it just fine.
I enjoyed BeatnikMNL’s workshop a lot because it gave me an insight on how much effort is involved in making handcrafted leather goods. From picking the kind of leather and threads, sourcing good supplies, making patterns, measuring out the seams and stitches, punching holes, stitching, etcetera, etcetera… A lot of time and skill is needed in order to produce a good piece. I need to develop the patience it takes to measure (and measure again) before I cut because I wasted a lot of leather due to taking shortcuts in measurements. It was really therapeutic, though. I felt so calm and serene as I worked with my hands.
I definitely have a deeper appreciation and respect for leathercrafters now, and I think that these artisans that hold workshops for people who want to learn how to make their own leather goods are investing wisely on educating others about handmade items. I’m definitely going to support local artisans this upcoming holiday season.
Today I practiced some italic calligraphy. Truth be told, I struggle with anything that looks flow-y. It feels as unnatural to me as forcing myself to write with my left hand, and I often come out at the end of it feeling frustrated and tired. Not frustrated enough to quit, though. 🙂
The poem Joy and Sorrow is one of my favorite poems. I learned to read at a very young age, and since my mom is a voracious reader, I often putter about her bookshelves looking for things to read. I think I was in third grade when I first came across her collection of Khalil Gibran poems, and this particular one really caught my attention. The lyrical quality of the words and the way they painted a picture in my mind started a lifelong fascination with poetry.
On Joy and Sorrow
by Khalil Gibran
Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.
And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.
And how else can it be?
The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.
Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter’s oven?
And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?
When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.
When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.
Some of you say, “Joy is greater thar sorrow,” and others say, “Nay, sorrow is the greater.”
But I say unto you, they are inseparable.
Together they come, and when one sits alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.
Verily you are suspended like scales between your sorrow and your joy.
Only when you are empty are you at standstill and balanced.
When the treasure-keeper lifts you to weigh his gold and his silver, needs must your joy or your sorrow rise or fall.
Pen: Nemosine Neutrino with 1.1mm nib
Ink: The pen is loaded with Diamine Amber, then I dip the tip of the nib in De Atramentis Thomas Alva Edison for the red variation.
I was thinking of joining Inktober this year (and I will TRY to post as much as I can) and thought I’d try something different. Instead of using watercolors for the little illustrations in my journal entries, I’d use fountain pen ink. This was my practice entry. The pen and wash drawing is made with Rotring pen, Iroshizuku Asagao, and Parker Quink Black. I’m surprised at how vibrant the color was, especially the blue one. Kinda hard to control the flow of water and pigment, but it creates an effect different from what I’m used to with watercolors. I kinda like it.
I wrote about my favorite pen, which is a bit of a difficult question because I really love all my pens. If I really, really had to pick one, though, I think it would be this one–my Parker Vacumatic Debutante in Azure Blue. There are a lot of reasons why I love it. I like that it’s from 1941 and it still works perfectly, and that it’s one of the first azure blue vacs made.
I love that it’s really adorable. It’s a vintage pocket pen that’s only slightly bigger than a Kaweco Sport. It’s light and long enough to be comfortable in the hand. I don’t use the plunger, though, so that I can preserve the mechanism. I use it as an eyedropper, and it holds a lot of ink. It also writes like a dream. The nib is so smooth and springy, and lays down a wet line. But most importantly…it’s adorable! It’s been in my daily carry since I got it back in early 2016. 🙂
Earlier today we watched this movie called Cook Up a Storm and I wrote a review of it in my journal. It was a fun movie, and I like how the set was designed; a modern city slowly inching out the small neighborhoods. The old and the new buildings struggling for a foothold. Drawing people and buildings don’t come easy for me, but sometimes I manage to wrangle out something that I like enough.
I also tried out the birthday gift my husband gave me, a digital drawing pad. I’ve never had one before, but I’ve always been curious about doing digital art. It really requires a different skill set because you’re not just drawing, you’re also puttering around a software (or two). I figured out how to do pencil drawings, but I haven’t quite figured out how to color yet. It’s so much fun doing digital drawings, once you get over having to look at the screen while you draw.
The movie was quite fun. It’s a little preachy and cheesy at times, but it’s a nice, feel-good movie with lots of great food shots. I like the values that the movie tries to highlight. The fact that modern and traditional don’t need to be at odds with each other, and that we can all learn something from one another. That success and fame isn’t all that’s important in life, and how food can be inclusive if we want it to be. That fame can be fickle, but failure can be the path to finding new people, better people, to let in your life. It’s a nice, family-friendly movie. 🙂
Here’s one of my favorite verses in uncial and Baybayin (ancient Philippine script). I think the words of the verse are beautiful. I love writing verses in uncial because I think the style matches the words very well. Also, I can’t write in beautiful, flowy script to save my life. ^_^
Pens and Inks used:
Franklin Christoph Model 02, 1.1mm stub – De Atramentis Thomas Alva Edison
Bexley Corona in Blueberry Cream, 1.1mm stub – Kyo Iro Soft Snow of Ohara
This past few days, I’ve been using Blue Water Ice in my journal entries. Robert Oster certainly makes eye-catching blue inks. This is a vibrant blue with pink sheen. It’s interesting to look at because the base blue color is light enough and the pink sheen is sheen-y enough for the ink to show a halo around the lines. You can see it on the writing sample above, it’s like the letters have a thin outline around them.
I would recommend using wide nib sizes for this ink for you to truly appreciate the ink’s beauty. I tried using it with a fine nib and the ink comes off as a pale blue. Pretty, but not as pretty as if you use a wider nib, like the one I used here (a cursive italic nib). It’s a saturated ink, but it still shows off a lot of beautiful shading. It’s saturated enough for everyday writing, but it’s not a boring, standard blue. It’s a happy shade of blue that is so vibrant, it pops right out of the page.
It flows wet, and dries about 15-20 seconds (on Tomoe River, with a cursive italic medium nib). It’s always fun to use flow-y inks. Here are a few close up photos of the writing sample.
Check out Everything Calligraphy for Robert Oster Signature Inks.
The first Sailor pen that I bought was a clear candy, back in 2014 (if I recall correctly). I got another Sailor, a Sapporo Progear Slim last year, and I’m really happy about how the pens write perfectly out of the box. The nib wasn’t soft, but it wrote really smoothly. So I thought I’d get a Morita as well, because I love the color and I enjoy the Sailor pens that I bought so far.
I was going to get a progear slim again, but I thought I’d try a progear mini this time, and I’m glad I did. This pen is super cute. It’s a little pocket pen that is just a teeny bit longer than a Kaweco Sport.
When uncapped and posted, they are almost the same size as well, although the end of Sailor’s barrel has threads on it where you can securely screw the cap on. I’m glad they did it this way because it’s not comfortable to hold unposted, and having a place to thread the cap on means that I don’t need to worry about the cap scratching the barrel when I post it. It’s also pretty secure, your hand won’t push the cap off while you write.
It is about 1.5 cm shorter than a progear slim, and the girth is the same. When capped, the girth is like that of a medium-sized pen, so it’s easy to hold while writing. The length of the section is a bit short (like the progear slim), but it’s the right proportion to the body. Since I hold my pens near the edge of the section anyway, the threads don’t really bother me a lot.
I really like the color of this pen. It looks like Tiffany blue for me, but after reading about the pen online, it’s called robin’s egg blue. It was made especially for Mr. Morita, of the Morita Pen Shop in Osaka, Japan. The color is said to be based on the ceiling of a cathedral where Mozart performed. I like the combination of robin’s egg blue and rhodium trims.
Because of the length of the pen, the proprietary Sailor converter doesn’t fit. It uses cartridges instead. I don’t mind it at all, though this might be a deal breaker for people who don’t have the time to refill empty cartridges using a syringe. Here’s a video of the writing sample:
Like I mentioned earlier, the pen just wrote perfectly out of the box. My Sapporo has a medium nib, though being a Japanese medium, it wrote more like a European fine. I chose a B nib this time because I like thicker lines. The Sailor Morita’s B nib writes like a European medium, which is perfect for me. I love it, it glides on paper and has the slightest feedback. It’s really a pleasure to use.
Here are a few more closeups of the different parts of the pen: Continue reading
A few days ago, I tried out my sample of Robert Oster Plumb Nut. Aside from the little dab of ink on the cap, I didn’t really know what to expect because I’m not sure what a plumb nut is. I used my Sailor Sapporo Progear Slim with a medium nib and (after getting acquainted with the color a bit more) a Lamy Studiio with a 1.5 mm nib. Right off the bat, I like that it’s a pleasant old rose color. It’s a mellow kind of pink, a bit dusky, with a slight hint of purple. It has beautiful deep pink shading, and no sheen. When I first tried it with my Sailor pen, it felt thin, almost watery. It doesn’t bleed or go all over the place, but it felt watery on paper as I wrote, so my nib felt like it’s gliding on the surface of the paper. I reversed my nib to see how it would look like in an xf nib (or maybe closer to a needlepoint) and it flowed quite wet too. I also used it with a 1.5 mm Lamy nib to see how it will hold up with a wider nib.
The nib never ran dry, and it showed off the gorgeous characteristics of the ink. Even if the ink’s consistency felt watery, the saturation is not too light. It darkened a bit after drying, but remained a pleasant pop or color on paper. It also dried up pretty quickly at about 10 seconds or so using the medium nib on Tomoe River paper. It’s also not water resistant.
Here are a few close ups of the writing sample:
Plumb Nut and other Robert Oster Signature Inks are available at Everything Calligraphy.
Today I’m reviewing Robert Oster Signature Inks Eucalyptus green. It’s a deep green color with a very subtle red undertone. If you’re a green ink lover, this ink is pretty easy to love. At first glance, it reminded me of one of my favorite green inks, De Atramentis Jane Austen, but a closer look shows some differences between the two:
The red undertone of Eucalyptus Leaf (bottom line) gives it a warmer tone. It has more shading, and the light green component of its shading looks beautifully translucent. Of course, shading will depend on the pen that you use as well as paper quality, YMMV.
Eucalyptus Leaf is a wet-flowing ink, and it takes around 20-25 seconds to dry (medium nib, Tomoe River paper). I like that it feels wet but doesn’t bleed and isn’t too wet that it doesn’t show off the shading. It’s just wet enough for the nib to feel like it’s gliding on paper. It stays vibrant even after it dries, which is something I love about Robert Oster inks. This green ink is nicely saturated and is suitable for everyday writing. It’s not water resistant, but if you use it for pen and wash drawings (like the weird-looking Master Oogwey in the writing sample sheet above), it spreads out nicely and shows the red components of the ink.
Here are a few close ups of the writing sample:
Robert Oster Signature Inks are exclusively distributed in the Philippines by Everything Calligraphy.
Here’s a journal entry I wrote a couple of days ago about the Beauty and the Beast adaptation this year. I’ve been meaning to write about this but only got around to it now. I was honestly not too excited about the movie because I don’t really like the story of Beauty and the Beast. I found the animated movie to be a bit weird, but then again I didn’t like fairy tales even as a child. The animated movie didn’t make much sense to me because it seemed the basis for their “true love” was too shallow.
The movie was quite the surprise because the core of the story stuck to the traditional fairy tale plot, but the addition of Belle and Beast’s back stories made the entire thing about their “love” quite plausible. There were a lot of things about this adaptation that I liked. One is how Belle didn’t feel like she didn’t fit in to the little town’s “provincial life” not just because she’s like the odd girl out, but also because there’s a whole episode in her life that her father didn’t want to tell her about. This film’s Belle was strong, intelligent, compassionate, intellectually curious. She was also an outsider who was keenly aware of the majority of the town’s rejection of her “strangeness”. Her relationship with Beast progressed from resentment to friendship gradually, by getting to know him and his story.
Unlike the animated film where it’s almost taken for granted that it’s Belle’s affection Beast must win, the 2017 adaptation is more balanced. Both Belle and Beast needed to learn how to love each other in order for the curse to be broken. Beast didn’t automatically fall in love with Belle just because she was beautiful. He had to grow into it too.
Both found common ground with their being rejected because of how different they are from other people, both also found another common ground, and it’s probably the best thing you can base a friendship on–a meeting of the minds. I loved those scenes where they read together. It reminded me of when my husband and I haven’t even started to go out yet. Our friendship took on a different level when we discovered that we both liked to read. We would read the same book and then spend hours talking about it, among other things. This meeting of the minds gives each other an open door, an invitation to step in and get to know each other in a deeper sense. Until now, my husband and I still love going somewhere quiet so we can sit together and read our books, and talk, and talk some more.
That kind of friendship is fertile ground for love. That kind of story goes beyond the superficiality of being beautiful or beastly.
There are a lot of other things I loved about the movie, but this part about them discovering kindred spirits in each other is my favorite. 🙂
I was thinking about which Robert Oster ink to review next and I decided to do Marrone Mustard. I was really expecting something more on the yellow side, as in the commercial mustard that we commonly find in the condiments section of the grocery store. When I put my pen on paper, though, I was pleasantly surprised to see that it’s predominantly brown. A quick Google search on the word Marrone informed me that it’s Italian for brown. The Marrone Mustard ink is a brown mustard color, which is a nice golden brown. It’s pretty striking, especially because it has such expressive shading.
It looks gorgeous on paper, especially in person. The shades of the ink ranges from a soft mustard yellow to a warm brown. I suggest you use a wet medium nib so you can appreciate the shading and the complexity of the color even more. It reminds me of the color of leaves turning. The ink grows a little bit darker a few hours after it dries up on paper. I’ve tried it on my journal which has ivory colored Tomoe River paper and my oh my, it’s gorgeous.
The flow is almost moderate but a tiny bit on the dry side. It’s also not very water resistant, making it a nice ink to use for pen and wash drawings. The water brings out more of the reddish component of the brown tones, though. The wash looks more orange-y than brown or yellow.
Here are a few close ups of the writing samples:
Overall, I find this ink very, very beautiful. I must add it to my personal collection. It’s the kind of ink I want to write many letters and journal entries with.
Robert Oster inks are exclusively distributed in the Philippines by Everything Calligraphy.
I made this little painting a few weeks ago. I’ve made other dream catchers before but this is the first I’m actually happy with, despite the simplicity of the design of the strings. It’s kinda hard to make them all line up exactly as they should. It’s a slow month for watercolors, considering it’s World Watercolor Month. I wish I had more time to play, but I guess we just squeeze in as much fun as we can manage. ^_^